Macy’s fined for worker mistreatment

New York – Macy’s will pay $175,000 in civil penalties to the U.S. government in an agreement with the Department of Justice (DOJ) settling claims of mistreatment of immigrant workers. In addition to paying the $175,000 fine, Macy’s will also revise its employment eligibility reverification policies and procedures and to provide training to its human resources personnel across the country on the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Naturalization Act (INA). In addition, Macy’s will create a $100,000 fund to compensate any individuals who suffered lost wages or loss of seniority as a result of its practices and have its employment practices monitored for two years.

The settlement comes in the wake of an investigation into allegations that Macy’s was guilty of immigration-related unfair employment practices. Based on the investigation, the DOJ determined that Macy’s engaged in unfair documentary practices against work-authorized immigrant employees during the employment eligibility reverification process and that some employees suffered economic harm through lost work or seniority as a result.

The INA’s anti-discrimination provision prohibits employers from treating workers differently in the employment eligibility verification or reverification process by demanding more or different documents, or by limiting the worker’s choice of documents, based on an individual’s immigration status or national origin.

“Employers must ensure that they follow correct procedures during the reverification of employment authorization of non-U.S. citizens,” said Gregory Friel, Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “Given the size of their workforce, national employers are particularly encouraged to evaluate their policies and practices and make use of the division’s no-cost technical assistance to ensure compliance with the INA’s anti-discrimination provision.”

Macy’s has not publicly commented on the matter.


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