Commentary: David Rodriguez, a DACA recipient who applied for an internship at The Procter & Gamble Company, and P&G, have reached an agreement in Rodriguez v. P&G. The case sought to address P&G’s policy and practice of screening out non-U.S. citizens applicants unless they held a long-term work authorization.
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 federal section 1981. P&G denies any wrongdoing and vigorously defended it policy over the course of nearly three years of litigation.
In a filing on July 30, 2021, Mr. Rodriguez asked the Court for preliminary approval of the class action settlement through which P&G will ensure that DACA recipients will not be excluded from consideration for internships and job opportunities. In addition to DACA recipients, Temporary Protected Status (“TPS”) holders, individuals granted Deferred Enforced Departure (“DED”), Violence Against Women Act (“VAWA”) self-petitioners, and U and T visa holders and derivatives of VAWA, U and T visas, will also be eligible for employment consideration under the policy. In addition to the policy change from which countless future qualified non-citizens will benefit, P&G will establish a class fund for individual payments to eligible class members.
“P&G is a major consumer company, and this settlement ensures that well-qualified, work-authorized DACA recipients will be able to contribute meaningfully to the company’s continued growth and success.” said Thomas A. Saenz, MALDEF president and general counsel.
“Access to internships and jobs like those offered by P&G is an incredibly important issue for DACA recipients who have lived in the U.S. since they were children and have gone to school — high school, college — and are well-positioned for success in their professional lives when given the opportunity,” said Ossai Miazad, lead counsel for Plaintiff.
P&G, in turn, stated that “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.”
Plaintiff is represented by Outten & Golden LLP, MALDEF and Cimo Mazer Mark PLLC
Proctor & Gamble is represented by Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP
Founded in 1968, MALDEF is the nation’s leading Latino legal civil rights organization. Often described as the “law firm of the Latino community,” MALDEF promotes social change through advocacy, communications, community education, and litigation in the areas of education, employment, immigrant rights, and political access. For more information on MALDEF, please visit: www.maldef.org.