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Abercrombie and Fitch Ordered to Pay Back Wages for Discriminatory Actions

Updated: Feb 18, 2021

The Department of Justice’s Office of Special Counsel investigated a claim about clothing retailer Abercrombie and Fitch’s I-9 process. All employers must complete Form I-9s on their employees to establish identity and work authorization. The employee is given the option to bring either a List A or a combination of one List B and one List C document to demonstrate their identity and work authorization.

Abercrombie, however, specifically requested that the employee present a green card to verify her employment authorization. This specific documentary demand violates immigration regulations because it discriminates against a work authorized individual. By forcing the employee to present a document that she may or may not have had, the employee was treated differently than a U.S. citizen.

There are various types of work authorization for non-citizens, not just permanent resident (green) cards. Asylees, refugees, and people with employment authorization cards issued for several reasons are all eligible to work in the United States. None of these people have green cards, however.

Abercrombie agreed to settle the case and will be paying more than $3,000 in back pay to the complainant and is ordered to create a back pay fund of $153,000 to compensate any other employees who may have been subject to the discriminatory practices.

Most business owners and HR understand the law requires an I-9 to be completed on each employee, but they forget or do not realize that the same law prohibits discrimination in the hiring process. Often times, employers do not even realize they are being discriminatory. It is best to train anyone completing I-9s on behalf of the company so that he or she understands what discrimination is and how to avoid it in the I-9 process.

Danielle Atchison Business Immigration Lawyer MDIVANI CORPORATE IMMIGRATION LAW FIRM 7007 College Blvd., Ste. 460 | Overland Park, KS 66211 Phone :: 913.317.6200

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