Back in 2011, Forever 21′s creative director, Linda Chang said the company has never actually settled a lawsuit. So, while we have long doubted the accuracy of that statement, we can now say for sure that the fast fashion giant does, in fact, settle lawsuits out of court. As of Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Justice said Forever 21 has settled a discrimination claim, agreeing to pay $1,750.50 in back pay to a former employee, as well as a $280 fine. Forever 21 was facing allegations that it violated the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act by discriminating against employees or job applicants while verifying a person’s employment eligibility, by demanding specific documents or rejecting acceptable documents based on the status of citizenship or national origin.
Forever 21 reportedly violated the Immigration and Nationality Act when it rejected a newly hired employee’s Department of Homeland Security-issued Employment Authorization Document, and instead, required her to provide a “green card,” or permanent residence card, as part of its employment verification process. As a result, the unnamed woman (who was extended an offer to work for the fast fashion retailer) was unable to work for Forever 21.
In addition to the back pay and fine, Forever 21 has agreed to undergo training with the Justice Department on the anti-discrimination provision of the statute and be subject to monitoring of its employment eligibility verification practices for a year, the agency said.