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Abercrombie Settles Immigration-Related Lawsuit Over Hiring Practices

The company agreed to pay more than $158,000 and have its employment eligibility verification process monitored for two years. Abercrombie denied discriminating against the plaintiff in the settlement.

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Abercrombie & Fitch agreed to pay more than $158,000 and be monitored for two years as part of a settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice over allegations that it discriminated against a non-U.S. citizen when it required her to present a green card.

The Columbus, Ohio-based company agreed to pay the woman $3,661 in back pay and a civil penalty of $1,100 to the U.S. It also agreed to establish a back pay fund of $153,932 to compensate anyone else who may have been discriminated against, the U.S. DOJ said in a statement.

It also agreed to have its employment eligibility verification process monitored for two years. Abercrombie & Fitch maintained that it had not discriminated against the woman or violated the Immigration and Nationality Act in the settlement.

Abercrombie & Fitch did not immediately return calls for comment.

Last year, federal officials received a complaint from a woman who said the company rejected a pending petition for them to become a permanent resident, called an I-751. The form had a certain type of passport stamp giving the person the same rights as someone with a green card while their request to become a permanent resident is approved.

The company officials then asked her for a green card because of her immigration status. The same was not asked of her U.S. citizen counterparts.

Their investigation found that Abercrombie & Fitch had required her to present a green card, but didn't ask the same of U.S. citizens in her situation.

The settlement comes after the U.S. Supreme Court in June sided with a Muslim woman who said she was denied employment with Abercrombie & Fitch because her headscarf – worn because of her religious practices – violated the company's "Look Policy."

Adolfo Flores is a national security correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles. He focuses on immigration.

Contact Adolfo Flores at

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