GLOBAL ECONOMY

United Continental settles suit over discrimination against non-U.S. citizens

(Photo: Tim Ockenden/Associated Press)

(Photo: Tim Ockenden/Associated Press)

United Continental Holdings Inc. has settled a claim that Continental Airlines discriminated against employees who were legal permanent U.S. residents but weren't U.S. citizens.

The Justice Department said Tuesday that United Continental agreed to pay a $215,000 penalty, set up a $55,000 fund for back pay to affected workers for lost wages, and undergo training on anti-discrimination provisions of immigration law.

The government said that Continental asked legal permanent residents to fill out extra forms and show proof of eligibility for work after they were hired and didn't make the same demands of U.S. citizens.

Immigration law prohibits employers from putting extra burdens of documentation on work-authorized employees based on their citizenship status.

A United spokeswoman said that the incident was an administrative error without any intent to discriminate.

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Continental was folded into United after a 2010 merger. Shares of the Chicago company rose 63 cents to $48.42 in morning trading.

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