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By Adriano Marchese


Microsoft Corp. said Tuesday it has worked to address a handful of immigration-related discrimination mistakes and improve its hiring processes after reaching a settlement with the Justice Department.

Earlier Tuesday, the Justice Department said it investigated the matter after receiving a report that the company asked a job applicant for a permanent resident card while applying for a job at Microsoft's Redmond, Wash., facility.

A Microsoft spokesperson said: "We hire and confirm employment eligibility for tens of thousands of people, and a handful were mistakenly asked for extra information or documentation. We appreciate we need to prevent these mistakes and have worked to address these issues and improve our internal processes as part of our commitment to compliance."

The DOJ said the investigation gave it cause to believe that between February 2018 and January 2020, Microsoft committed unfair documentary practices against at least six applicants based on citizenship status.

Employers are required to verify if a worker has permission to work in the U.S. but prohibits them from asking for documents when not required or from specifying the types of valid documentation.

As a part of the settlement, Microsoft will have to adjust how it hires people as to ensure it isn't unlawfully requiring non-U.S. citizen applicants to provide specific immigration documents to prove they don't require sponsorship for a work visa.

This means training its employees who are responsible for verifying and reverifying workers' permission to work in the country, and the company will be subject to monitoring and reporting requirements.

As well as the changes to its hiring practices and process, the settlement requires Microsoft to pay a civil penalty of $17,352 to the Treasury.

"The department also hopes that this settlement will inspire other employers to ensure that their own policies and practices are not discriminatory," said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division.


Write to Adriano Marchese at adriano.marchese@wsj.com


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 07, 2021 19:00 ET (00:00 GMT)

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