IT workers formerly employed by Walt Disney Co. have filed complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission with the intent of suing the company for replacing them with foreign workers.
The complaints were filed by at least 23 people, Politico reports, claiming that they were the victims of “national origin discrimination.” They cite Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prevents employers from discriminating against an individual based on “race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.”
This is the first step to filing an official lawsuit against Disney, but the EEOC will first have to agree to hear the workers’ case. These 23 people are just a minor fraction of the 250 U.S. workers Disney laid off over the summer to replace with subcontracted H-1B, and other temporary work visa, holders.
National origin discrimination is becoming an increasingly common complaint in the U.S. Two senators have recently introduced bipartisan legislation that would decrease the number of workers coming to the U.S. with H-1B visas.
Update: Disney provided the following statement to Fortune:
We comply with all applicable employment laws. We are expanding our IT department and adding more jobs for US IT workers.