Wilner & O'Reilly, APLC
One Practice. One Focus. One Passion: Immigration Law.

Abercrombie & Fitch fined for immigration discrimination

On June 25, Abercrombie & Fitch settled an immigration discrimination charge by agreeing to pay over $158,000 and submit to two years of federal monitoring. The charge against the clothing retailer, which has several locations in California, was filed by a woman who claims that she was required to present a green card to prove that she was eligible for employment, although similar proof was not required by applicants who were U.S. citizens.

The company's request of the plaintiff reportedly violated the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act. Although the company did not admit to discriminating against the plaintiff based on her immigration status, the company agreed to pay the woman $3,661 for back pay plus interest. A $153,932 fund was also set up to compensate other people who might have been similarly discriminated against. The company also agreed to pay a $1,100 civil fine for the violation.

The recent settlement comes shortly after the company was found guilty of religious discrimination by the U.S. Supreme Court. On June 1, the Supreme Court decided that Abercrombie & Fitch may have violated federal law in its refusal to hire a Muslim woman as a sales associate because the company refused to accommodate her religious practice of wearing a headscarf.

A foreign national who would like to come to the United States for an employment opportunity may want to work with an immigration attorney. Legal counsel may be able to help the employee and the prospective employer to complete all of the paperwork that is required for a visa.

Source: Reuters, "Abercrombie settles U.S. immigration discrimination charge," Jonathan Stempel, June 25, 2015

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