Justice News

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Justice Department Reaches Settlement with National Retailer to Resolve Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices

The Justice Department announced today that it has reached an agreement with Macy’s Retail Holdings and other Macy’s entities (Macy’s) resolving allegations that the company violated the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).  Macy’s employs approximately 180,000 employees in the United States.

The investigation was initiated based on several calls to the Justice Department’s Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) worker hotline regarding potential immigration-related unfair employment practices. Based on the investigation, the department 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.

According to the settlement agreement, Macy’s agrees to revise its employment eligibility reverification policies and procedures and to provide training to its human resources personnel across the country on the INA’s anti-discrimination provision.  Macy’s also agrees to pay $175,000 in civil penalties to the United States, and to create a $100,000 back pay fund to compensate any individuals who suffered lost wages or loss of seniority as a result of its practices.  Under the agreement, Macy’s employment eligibility verification practices will be subject to monitoring by the department and reporting requirements for a period of two years.

“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.”

OSC is responsible for enforcing the anti-discrimination provision of the INA.  The case was handled by Liza Zamd and Ronald Lee, OSC trial attorneys.   For more information about protections against employment discrimination under the immigration laws, call the OSC’s worker hotline at 1-800-255-7688 (1-800-237-2525, TTY for hearing impaired), call the OSC’s employer hotline at 1-800-255-8155 (1-800-362-2735, TTY for hearing impaired), sign up for a no-cost webinar at www.justice.gov/about/osc/webinars.php, email osccrt@usdoj.gov or visit the website at www.justice.gov/crt/about/osc.

Press Release Number: 
Updated September 15, 2014