WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Justice said Wednesday it has reached a settlement agreement with Macy’s Inc. involving an allegation of immigration-related discrimination at one of the company’s stores in California.
The DOJ said the agreement, which required Macy’s to pay an $8,700 civil fine, stems from allegations that Macy’s violated the Immigration and Nationality Act by discriminating against work-authorized, non-U.S. citizens at its store in Glendale, Calif.
Federal officials began an investigation after a lawful permanent resident filed a charge, claiming that her hiring was delayed last October because a Macy’s official “incorrectly believed that lawful permanent residents were required to produce unexpired permanent resident cards.”
The woman, who was not named by the DOJ, was unable to begin working at Macy’s even though she provided “sufficient proof” of her work authorization, the investigation found.
The investigation also found other human resource employees in Macy’s Glendale location making the same “unnecessary requirement on four other lawful permanent residents.”
U.S. citizens, on the other hand, were allowed to choose whichever valid documents they wanted to present to prove their work authorization, authorities said.
Under the statute, lawful permanent residents do not have to show their permanent resident cards when they start working. They can choose whatever documentation they would like to present from a list of acceptable documents, such as a valid driver’s license and “unrestricted” social security cards.
As part of the settlement agreement, Macy’s will provide additional training to its employees and assess its employees’ understanding of applicable rules, the DOJ said. The retailer will also be required to produce Form I-9 information to the department for review.
“Macy’s did the right thing by immediately resolving the charging party’s delayed hiring and by giving her full back pay,” said Vanita Gupta, principal deputy assistant attorney general and head of the DOJ’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.”
“Our company is committed to complying with all federal immigration laws and as is our policy, we do not discriminate on any basis,” a Macy’s spokesman said in an e-mail.