Grocer Settles Hiring Discrimination Suit

The company will pay a civil penalty and has provided back pay to the complainant.

Tomatoes Grocery Ap
AP file

The U.S. Department of Justice said Monday reached a settlement with Giant Co. after finding that the grocer discriminated against non-U.S. citizens in hiring.

The Justice Department began investigating late last year after a non-citizen reported that Giant refused to accept documents that gave her permission to work in the U.S.

The government found that Giant was routinely requiring non-citizens to show their permanent resident cards -- also known as green cards -- even when they presented other valid documents, such as driver’s licenses and unrestricted Social Security cards. At the same time, Giant allowed U.S. citizens to choose from various acceptable document types.

Federal law allows workers to choose which documentation to present to demonstrate their identity and permission to work. Employers are prohibited from asking for specific documents because of a worker’s citizenship, immigration status or national origin.

Giant operates more than 190 stores in Delaware, Washington, Maryland and Virginia. The Associated Press emailed a message to the company seeking comment on Monday.

Under the settlement, Giant will pay an $11,000 civil penalty, train staff in anti-discrimination policies and be subject to departmental monitoring for a three-year period. Giant has also provided the worker who complained with $18,000 in back pay.

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