Mrs. Fields chocolate chip cookies. (Photo/Facebook)

Mrs. Fields Forks Over Dough to Settle Immigration Discrimination Lawsuit with DOJ

Cookie retailer Mrs. Fields has reached a settlement with the Department of Justice over anti-discrimination violations. Mrs. Fields agreed to pay $24,600 for violating the Immigration and Nationality Act when non-U.S. citizens at its distribution center in Salt Lake City were asked to provide documentation verifying their ability to work in the country, while not having asked other company employees for the same documentation.

“From at least March 21, 2016, to March 20, 2017, Mrs. Fields required lawful permanent residents to provide specific documentation issued by the Department of Homeland Security to prove their work authorization, while not imposing this requirement on U.S. citizens,” the DOJ said in a news release. “All work-authorized individuals, regardless of citizenship status, have the right to choose which document to present, from a range of valid documents, to demonstrate their authority to work in the United States. The anti-discrimination provision of the INA prohibits employers from subjecting employees to unnecessary documentary demands based on employees’ citizenship status or national origin.”

Mrs. Fields, which is headquartered in Colorado, also agreed to future DOJ inspection and reporting requirements and will send “certain employees” to attend anti-discrimination training.

“Workers should not have to face discrimination because of citizenship status or national origin in the employment eligibility verification process,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Civil Rights Division. “We are pleased that Mrs. Fields has agreed to work with the Division and ensure that its staff is trained on the anti-discrimination provision of the INA, and we look forward to working with the company to reach this shared goal.”

 

Multimedia journalist James Cullum is Managing Editor of Homeland Security Today's Federal Pages. He has reported for over a decade to newspapers, magazines and websites in the D.C. metro area. He excels at finding order in chaotic environments, from slave liberations in South Sudan to the halls of the power in Washington, D.C.

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