Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Enforcement Michael J. Garcia announced today that Johns Hopkins Health System Corporation in Baltimore, Maryland has agreed to pay the maximum $10,000 civil penalty to settle charges that it violated U.S. antiboycott laws by discriminating against an individual in support of the Arab League boycott of Israel. Johns Hopkins Health System Corporation voluntarily disclosed the incident and cooperated fully with the subsequent investigation.
"As Under Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Security Kenneth I. Juster recently made clear, the Commerce Department will vigorously enforce our antiboycott laws," Assistant Secretary Garcia noted. "This case demonstrates that resolve."
The Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) had charged that in 1995, Johns Hopkins Health System Corporation discriminated against a U.S. person because she was Jewish. The person had been seeking a position in the company's International Services Department, which markets medical services around the world, including in the Middle East. BIS believes that the discriminatory conduct was motivated by the company's concern about having a Jewish person in that position because of the Arab League boycott of Israel.
The antiboycott provisions of the Export Administration Regulations prohibit U.S. persons from complying with certain aspects of unsanctioned foreign boycotts imposed or fostered by foreign governments, including taking discriminatory actions on the basis of religion or national origin. In addition, the antiboycott regulations require U.S. persons to report their receipt of certain boycott requests to the BIS's Office of Antiboycott Compliance (OAC), which investigates alleged violations, provides support in administrative or criminal litigation of cases, and prepares cases for settlement.
Assistant Secretary Garcia commended Senior Compliance Officer Cathleen A. Ryan who conducted the investigation of this case for OAC.