Macy's Settles Immigration-Related Discrimination Case Following Justice Department Investigation

The agreement settles allegations that Macy's violated the Immigration and Nationality Act

Macy's Settles Immigration-Related Discrimination Case Following Justice Department Investigation
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June 22, 2016

The U.S. Department of Justice (USDOJ) has reached an agreement with Macy's over allegations that the retailer violated the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) by discriminating against work-authorized non-U.S. citizens.

The USDOJ investigation was based on a charge filed by a lawful permanent resident whose hiring at Macy's Glendale, California location was delayed in October 2015. The charging party alleged, and the investigation found, that she was not able to begin working at Macy's even though she showed sufficient proof of her work authorization because a Macy's hiring official incorrectly believed that lawful permanent residents were required to produce unexpired permanent resident cards.

The investigation also found that other human resource employees in Macy's Glendale store were imposing the same unnecessary requirement on four other lawful permanent residents. In contrast, U.S. citizens were permitted to choose whichever valid documents they wanted to present to prove their work authorization, according to USDOJ findings.

Under the INA, lawful permanent residents do not have to show their permanent resident cards when they start working. Instead, like all workers, they can choose the documentation they would like to present, such as a driver's license and unrestricted social security card, from the lists of acceptable documents.

"Macy's did the right thing by immediately resolving the charging party's delayed hiring and by giving her full back pay," said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division. "All employers should take care not to impose unlawful burdens on employees because of their citizenship or immigration status and address issues promptly when they make mistakes."

Per the terms of the settlement agreement, Macy's will, among other things, provide additional training to its employees and assess its employees' understanding of applicable rules. Macy's will also pay an $8,700 civil penalty and will be periodically required to produce Form I-9 information to the USDOJ for review.

The Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) is responsible for enforcing the anti-discrimination provision of the INA. The law prohibits, among other things, citizenship, immigration status and national origin discrimination in hiring, firing, recruitment or referral for a fee; unfair documentary practices in employment eligibility verification; retaliation and intimidation.

To learn more about the protections against employment discrimination under immigration laws, call OSC's worker hotline at 1-800-255-7688.