Headquartered in California, Panda Express has over 1,900 locations and 30,000 employees. The fast food company was involved in an employee discrimination lawsuit involving workers’ immigration status. Legal permanent United States residents were obligated to show proof of their status when their documents expired. They also had to resubmit the documents a second time despite having already done so. The case was considered discriminatory because workers who were United States citizens were not required to show proof of their status at the time.
A spokesperson for the restaurant franchise said that the company does not believe it was being discriminatory in its actions. Nevertheless, the company will pay a $400,000 fine and $200,000 to workers who lost pay due to the company’s actions. The company is also required to undergo monitoring from the Department of Justice and to retrain its human resources staff on immigration discrimination.
It is illegal for employers to ask for the documents that Panda Express requested from its employees according to the Immigration and Nationality Act. This is because these documents reflect the citizenship status and nationality of the employees. Employees of the franchise may have been affected by this practice dating back to 2014.
Some employers unlawfully terminate employees or unfairly lower their wages based on their immigration status or country of origin. This conduct amounts to employee discrimination, and victims of this type of discrimination have the civil right to consult a lawyer about prejudicial biases from an employer. A lawyer who focuses on workplace discrimination might assist employees who have been treated differently than their coworkers by gathering evidence and helping them to file a claim.