Factual Allegations & Background
Procter & Gamble (“P&G”), an American multinational consumer goods company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio with over $65.3 billion in annual sales, refuses to hire entire categories of individuals authorized to work in the United States based on their alienage. Specifically, P&G categorically denies non-citizen job applicants employment with the company if they are not U.S. permanent residents, refugees, or individuals granted asylum, notwithstanding the fact that the applicants are authorized to live and work in the United States. This company-wide policy and/or practice constitutes intentional discrimination based on alienage and is unlawful under the Civil Rights Act of 1866, as codified by 42 U.S.C. § 1981.
42 U.S.C. § 1981 guarantees to persons in the United States the right to enter into contracts. The statute was passed right after the end of the Civil War, and lay dormant until the 20th century because the Supreme Court had ruled the civil rights acts passed by the Reconstruction Era Congress applied only to public, rather than private acts. In 1968, however, the Supreme Court resurrected these statutes in Jones v. Alfred H. Mayer Co., 392 U.S. 409 (1968). Since then § 1981 has been sparely used, but it squarely fits the violation of the right to contract for work which P&G has committed, and its use in this case could well set a precedent which could add thousands of workers who otherwise would have no legal protection.