The Justice Department said it settled an immigration-related discrimination claim against specialty retailer Abercrombie & Fitch Inc.
The settlement resolves a complaint filed with the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices alleging that the retailer discriminated against a non-U.S. citizen in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
A spokeswoman for Abercrombie said, “Abercrombie prioritized compliance with the antidiscrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act and fully cooperated in the Department of Justice’s investigation into this individual charge. Compliance with all aspects of U.S. immigration law has always been, and continues to be, a priority for Abercrombie.” She added that the retailer “did not intentionally violate any provision” of the INA.
The Justice Department found that Abercrombie required a non-U.S. citizen to present a green card — but not a similar-situated U.S. citizen — even though INA’s antidiscrimination provision prohibits employers from making specific documentary demands based on citizenship status or national origin.
The terms of the settlement has the retailer paying $3,661.14 in back pay to the complainant and a civil penalty to the U.S., as well as establish a back-pay fund of $153,932 to compensate other individuals who may have been similarly harmed, the Justice Department said. The retailer will also be subject to monitoring of its employment eligibility verification practices for two years, the Justice Department said.
In a separate case earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the retailer in a case involving a Muslim woman who alleged was denied a position because she wore a head scarf to a job interview. The case was sent back to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals for further consideration.