Tennessee Chinese food enthusiasts might have heard that Panda Express settled for $600,000 in a lawsuit involving discrimination against non-citizen employees. The fast-food restaurant chain will pay out $200,000 to employees who lost pay because they were unfairly required twice to provide documentation of their legal status to work in the United States. The company will also pay $400,000 in fines.
The U.S. Department of Justice also required that the food franchise train its human resources employees in laws that disallow discrimination against immigrant workers as part of the settlement. Workers suffered discrimination on the basis that although they were legal United States residents, they, unlike their coworkers who are citizens, were mandated twice by the company to show proof of their legal status to work in the country. The Immigration and Nationality Act makes it illegal for employers to ask employees for these documents since they involve employees' immigration status and country of origin.
Even though the Department of Justice assessed penalties against Panda Express, the company maintains that it was not discriminatory in its actions. According to a spokesperson for the restaurant chain, it had already taken measures to streamline the process of verifying workers' authorization to work in the U.S.
Discrimination based on nationality and citizenship status are not the only forms that some employers engage in. When illegal and unfair practices occur in the workplace, the victims of workplace discrimination might have legal remedies. people who have been subject to workplace discrimination might discuss their options with a lawyer who might suggest that a claim be filed with the appropriate agency.