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Discrimination charge filed by The Fortune Society against Macy’s in background check dispute

On May 15, 2017, Outten & Golden LLP filed an Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (“EEOC”) charge on behalf of The Fortune Society (“Fortune”) against Macy’s, Inc. (“Macy’s”), 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 over 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 both Cincinnati, Ohio and Herald Square, New York, New York.

Fortune’s charge alleges that Macy’s violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., and other laws, by terminating employees and rejecting otherwise qualified job applicants and employees because of their criminal histories, which bear no relationship to their ability to perform the jobs sought.

Ossai Miazad, a partner in Outten & Golden’s New York office stated, “When employers use criminal history to make hiring decisions, they must comply with the law and ensure that the rights of job applicants are protected.”

JoAnne Page, President and CEO of The Fortune Society, added “Every day, The Fortune Society works with people who are eager to make a better life for themselves by finding work, supporting their families and growing as a positive force in their communities. Responsible corporate citizens should not be putting roadblocks in their way.”

Founded in 1967, Fortune is a nonprofit community-based organization with a mission to support the successful community reentry of individuals involved with the criminal justice system. Through an array of critical programming, Fortune provides much needed reentry-related services—including job training and placement services—to approximately 6,500 people each year. Fortune alleges that Macy’s has rejected and/or terminated individuals provided services by Fortune because of their criminal conviction history. Fortune filed this charge on behalf of one such individual and those similarly situated to him.

Fortune is represented by attorneys Ossai Miazad, Cheryl-Lyn Bentley, and Christopher McNer-ney of Outten & Golden.

The charge requests that the EEOC investigate Fortune’s claims against Macy’s on a class wide basis. The charge is intended to place the retailer on notice of class-wide allegations of race, color, national origin, and sex discrimination.

More information about the lawsuit is available at http://www.macyscriminalhistorydiscrimination.com/

Contact: Ossai Miazad, Cheryl-Lyn Bentley, and Christopher McNerney, Outten & Golden LLP, 212.245.1000.

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