* U.S. says Macy's to pay $175,000 fine, set up worker fund
* Macy's said to discriminate, use unfair document practices
By Jonathan Stempel and Phil Wahba
June 27 Macy's Inc has agreed to pay a
$175,000 civil fine and improve its practices to resolve a U.S.
government probe that found the retailer had discriminated
against immigrant employees when verifying their eligibility to
continue to work.
The U.S. Department of Justice on Thursday said Macy's had
engaged in "unfair documentary practices" against some immigrant
employees who had previously been authorized to work.
It said this resulted in some affected workers being
suspended, terminated, or losing seniority. Macy's agreed to set
up a $100,000 fund to compensate these workers.
The settlement covers Macy's Retail Holdings Inc, as well as
divisions that contain department store locations in western and
southwestern U.S. states, Florida and Puerto Rico.
It also requires Macy's to improve training and employment
reverification policies, including the use of the government's
"E-Verify" platform that lets employers check workers' legal
status, and subjects the retailer to two years of monitoring by
the Justice Department.
"Employers must ensure that they follow correct procedures
during the reverification of employment authorization of
non-U.S. citizens," Gregory Friel, deputy assistant attorney
general for the Justice Department's civil rights division, said
in a statement.
The department said its probe began in April 2012, based on
several calls to a worker hotline regarding Macy's practices. It
did not immediately provide details about the specific
Macy's spokesman Jim Sluzewski declined to comment.
According to the settlement agreement, Macy's denied
committing immigration-related discrimination or engaging in
unfair documentary practices in violation of the federal
Immigration and Nationality Act.
That law bars employers from demanding more or different
documents, or changing documentation rules, based on people's
immigration status or national origin.
Macy's had about 175,700 full- and part-time employees as of
Feb. 2, according to its annual report, and operated roughly 840
stores under the Macy's and Bloomingdale's names. The company
has offices in Cincinnati and New York.