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News and Announcements

Macy's sued for denying jobs to people with criminal records

Jun 28, 2019 / Media Coverage
The Fortune Society wants one of the country's largest retailers to reevaluate its policies for job applicants and employees with criminal histories. The nonprofit organization, which helps the formerly incarcerated re-enter society, filed a lawsuit Wednesday against Macy's Inc. claiming it had rejected job applicants, revoked job offers and terminated the employment of people with criminal histories. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Jenetta Rolfer, a 36-year-old black woman living in St. Paul, Minn., whose employment as a credit-granting representative at a Macy's call center was rescinded...
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Macy's Background Checks Unfairly Hit Minorities, Suit Says

Jun 27, 2019 / News Item
Macy’s policy of firing recent hires over criminal convictions that come up in undisclosed background checks has an unlawfully disproportionate impact on minority workers, according to a proposed class action filed in Manhattan federal court. The retail giant's screening policies have been used to deny jobs to countless black and Latino employees who are more likely to have criminal histories than their white counterparts due to discriminatory policies in the criminal justice system, according to the lawsuit filed Wednesday by The Fortune Society and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational...
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Macy's discriminates against black and Latino job candidates by considering minor convictions, suit says

Jun 27, 2019 / News Item
Jenetta Rolfer, who is black, alleges that she was fired from Macy's over a decade-old misdemeanor conviction for not having proof of auto insurance. Macy's discriminates against black and Latino people by firing or refusing to hire people who have past criminal convictions, even if the violations were minor, old or wouldn't impede an employee's ability to do a job, a lawsuit filed Wednesday alleges. The Fortune Society Inc., a nonprofit that helps people with criminal histories to find jobs and reintegrate in their communities, filed the suit in the Southern District of New York on behalf of...
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Macy’s wrongly fires employees over minor convictions: suit

Jun 26, 2019 / News Item
Macy’s unfairly treats old, minor convictions as reasons to deny jobs to potential employees of color, a new lawsuit charges. Jenetta Rolfer says in her suit filed Wednesday in Manhattan Federal Court that she signed a Macy’s job offer last year to work in its credit granting department. The company then contacted her about the results of a background check, which uncovered a misdemeanor public nuisance conviction stemming from a decade-old traffic related incident, according to the suit. Rolfer, 36, explained she had been busted for failure to provide proof of insurance because she was...
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Macy’s Hit With Class Lawsuit Over Criminal History Checks

Jun 26, 2019 / News Item
Macy’s Inc. illegally rejects job applicants, revokes job offers, and terminates employment based on old, minor, and unrelated criminal histories, a class action filed June 26 alleges. The retailer’s policies and practices “reinforce the racial discrimination present in the criminal justice system and result in unjustified racial disparities in employment opportunities,” it says. The complaint alleges violations of civil rights laws barring disparate impact discrimination, which focuses on neutral employment policies that have a disproportionately negative effect on workers based on race or...
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New Discrimination Lawsuit Filed Against Macy’s, Inc. over Criminal History Screening Policy

Jun 26, 2019 / Press Release
The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. ( LDF ), the law firm of Outten & Golden LLP ( O&G ), and Youth Represent ( YR ) filed a lawsuit today in the Southern District of New York against Macy’s, Inc. (Macy’s), challenging its use of an unnecessarily punitive criminal history screening policy. According to the lawsuit, the policy disproportionately disqualifies Black and Latinx applicants and employees from job opportunities in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the New York City Human Rights Law. Plaintiffs, The Fortune Society, Inc. (Fortune) and...
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Bias Suit Seeks Change to Macy's Hiring Practices

May 18, 2017 / Media Coverage
Macy's was hit this week with a complaint filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission over allegations its background check policies to screen job applicants based on criminal history is discriminatory. The complaint, filed by Outten & Golden on behalf of the nonprofit Fortune Society, violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act by rejecting or terminating employees on the basis of their criminal histories, which they argue bears no relationship to an employee's ability to perform a job. "When employers use criminal history to make hiring decisions, they must comply with...
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Nonprofit: Macy's criminal background checks discriminate

May 18, 2017 / Media Coverage
A nonprofit organization that helps ex-prisoners says Macy's criminal background check policies used to screen job applicants violates federal discrimination laws. The Fortune Society made the charges against the department store in a complaint filed with The New York Office of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on Monday. The social service organization says Macy's terminates employees and rejects otherwise qualified job applicants and employees because of their criminal histories. In a statement, the nonprofit's President and CEO, JoAnne Page, said "responsible corporate...
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Macy's Accused Of Bias With Background Checks At EEOC

May 17, 2017 / Media Coverage
Macy’s Inc. was hit with a charge at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission by a group that advocates for ex-inmates, which alleges the retailer's criminal background check policies are discriminatory, the group’s lawyers at Outten & Golden LLP said Wednesday. The Fortune Society, which works with ex-offenders to assist them in transitioning from incarceration to the outside world, filed an EEOC charge Monday against the retailer, saying the criminal background check policies and practices used to screen job applicants lead to discrimination, according to a statement. The...
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Outten & Golden LLP: Discrimination Charge Filed by the Fortune Society Against Macy's in Background Check Dispute

May 17, 2017 / Press Release
Outten & Golden LLP filed an Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) charge on May 15, 2017 on behalf of The Fortune Society against Macy's, Inc., alleging that the retailer's criminal background check policies and practices used to screen job applicants results in discrimination in violation of federal and local laws. Macy's, Inc. owns and operates more than 800 stores throughout the United States, Guam, and Puerto Rico under the names of Macy's, Bloomingdales, Bloomingdale's Outlet, Macy's Backstage, and Bluemercury (collectively "Macy's"). It maintains executive offices in...
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