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McDonald’s Settles Immigrant Discrimination Claim with DOJ

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McDonald’s Settles Immigrant Discrimination Claim with DOJ

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On November 19, 2015, McDonald’s settled a claim of immigrant discrimination with the Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division (“DOJ”).  The DOJ alleged that McDonald’s had engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination in violation of the unfair immigration-related employment practices provision of 8 U.S.C. § 1324b(a)(6).  Specifically, the DOJ contended that McDonald’s had improperly re-verified Lawful Permanent Residents as part of its I-9 re-verification practices.

USCIS’s I-9 guidelines specify that Lawful Permanent Resident cards should not be re-verified.  8 U.S.C. § 1324b(a)(6) prohibits requests for “more or different documents” or a refusal to “honor documents tendered that on their face reasonably appear to be genuine.”  Such practices are considered unfair immigration-related employment practices “if made for the purpose or with the intent of discriminating against an individual.”  By re-verifying the Lawful Permanent Resident documents, McDonalds engaged in immigrant discrimination.

As part of the settlement, McDonald’s will pay $355,000.00 in civil penalties to the United States Treasury, pay backpay to eligible employees and former employees, and undergo training regarding compliance with Section 1324b and the employment eligibility verification and re-verification process.

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