McDonald’s Settles Immigration-Related Discrimination Claim With the Dept. of Justice

On November 19, 2015, McDonald’s entered into a settlement agreement with the Department of Justice’s Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices.  The Office of Special Counsel alleged that the operating company for McDonald’s company-owned restaurants engaged in discrimination in its I-9 employment eligibility re-verification practices.

The Office of Special Counsel investigated and concluded that McDonald’s practices regarding how it re-verified lawful permanent residents was in violation of law.  McDonald’s denied the allegations and, after the Office of Special Counsel reviewed McDonald’s immigration compliance policy, its Form I-9s and it processes, both parties agreed to a settle the charges.

Under the terms of the settlement, McDonald’s denied any violation of law, but agreed to pay a civil fine of $355,000, provide back pay to employees or former employees who suffered under McDonald’s prior employment eligibility re-verification practices, and agreed not to discriminate based on citizenship or national original.

In addition, McDonald’s agreed to provide employees and applicants visual access to an Office of Special Counsel poster regarding employment eligibility in each store, provide Company HR consultants with the latest Form I-9 and the USCIS Employment Eligibility Handbook, and provide the Office of Special Counsel with a written description of all steps taken to ensure that McDonalds is not re-verifying Permanent Resident Cards.  It also agreed to take the Office of Special Counsel’s training sessions regarding compliance with the immigration-related employment provisions of federal law.