It has been decided that Macy’s Inc. will soon pay a civil penalty for settling the allegations that it has engaged in unfair documentation practices against its immigrant employees. The retailer will pay $175,000 for treating applicants with work authorizations differently when dealing with the eligibility verification process according to the Justice Department. Macy’s will also put $100,000 into a back pay fund for their employees which have lost seniority or wages due to the procedures.
Due to the outcome, Macy’s employment eligibility verification process will be monitored for the next two years, as well as reported back to officials to ensure that they are maintaining proper procedures. The case evolved from calls to a worker hotel that was set up for immigrant workers. They were supposed to report unfair employment practices. All employers are prohibited from treating workers differently in verification or eligibility processes by demanding additional documents from them or trying to limit the worker’s choice of documents that they can use based on their national origin or their immigration status.
This wouldn’t be the first time that Macy’s has come under legal attention for the company’s behavior. A few years ago, there was an extensive legal battle over the accusation that the company was not paying its employees correctly. Information had surfaced showing that Macy’s was not providing the proper amount of money on paychecks and that some employees were not getting paid on a regular basis due to certain ‘errors’ that the local stores were claiming had occurred. In both situations, the employees were given justice and Macy’s was forced to acknowledge its mistakes.
The attention towards Macy’s has prompted many consumers to question whether or not they want to support the actions of the company by shopping at the stores and purchasing the products. Some have argued that since Macy’s has done what it can to settle with the offended parties, it acknowledges that there was a serious problem and that it was worked to rectify it. However, others have argued that the settlement shows that Macy’s acknowledges that what happened was wrong but that the company also isn’t addressing the statements directly. Most news sources have reported that Macy’s refuses to provide a direct statement about what happened.
Ultimately, it will take time for the company to be able to escape the recent foul up towards immigrants. Some immigrants have expressed that they feel hesitant to work at stores like Macy’s and other related department stores because they are concerned that they will encounter the same behavior that was reported in the hotline phone calls. The decision will greatly depend on whether Macy’s goes out of its way to improve its relations with employees or if it will try to deny acknowledging that the situation had ever happened.