By: Bruce Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law

The Procter & Gamble Co. (P&G) and thousands of job and internship applicants with temporary work authorization under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program have asked a federal judge to approve a $3.5 million deal that would end a novel suit accusing the company of alienage discrimination. The parties urged U.S. District Judge Kathleen Williams to approve the agreement, which would require P&G to provide $1.5 million in settlement funds, $1.9 million in attorney fees and costs and another $80,000 in settlement administration expenses. If approved, the deal would require P&G to eliminate a policy that automatically excluded DACAs and other noncitizen applicants with federal work authorizations from consideration for jobs and internships.

The case was filed as a putative class action in federal district court in Miami on July 17, 2017, raising claims of discrimination based on alienage in violation of section 1981. P&G denied any wrongdoing and vigorously defended its policy over the course of nearly three years of litigation.

According to the motion, an estimated 10,000 to 15,000 applicants for P&G internships and entry-level positions have been denied consideration since July 2013 solely because they were DACA recipients or fell in one of five other noncitizen categories. Those categories include individuals with Temporary Protected Status (TPS), Deferred Enforced Departure (DED), U visas, T visas, and Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

Individuals are part of the proposed class only if they were members of one of those categories, had federal work authorization and did not require employer sponsorship, according to the motion. "This is an excellent recovery, given that class members were denied employment at the start of a highly competitive, multistage application and hiring process," the motion added, noting that P&G hires around 1% of internship applicants and 0.3% of entry-level job applicants.

P&G stated “P&G fully embraces diversity and inclusion as do our employees who represent more than 140 different nationalities. We support the Administration and Congress’ work to find a legislative solution that provides both prospective employees and employers certainty, and allows the US to continue to benefit from the contributions of the over 600,000 Dreamers.”

If you want to know more information on immigration compliance, I recommend you read The I-9 and E-Verify Handbook, a book I co-authored with Greg Siskind, and available at http://www.amazon.com/dp/0997083379.