Managers summoned the overnight crew of the North Main Street department store to meetings last month and gave workers the chance to prove their eligibility to work in the United States by bringing in the proper documents, the lawyers and Target representatives say.Most of the questioned workers voluntarily resigned, Target spokeswoman Kate Gillen said.Legal advocates for the employees say many of the workers were Spanish speakers and might not have understood what managers were asking. They also received nothing in writing. Advocates also question why members of a predominantly Latino overnight staff were targeted.
"Forty-five people are without a job," lawyer Rocio Avila of La Raza Centro Legal, a San Francisco legal group pressing Target for more information, told the Times. "Many of the workers there were long-term workers.
The Times says that inquiries of brand-name retailers may become more common as U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement tighten enforcement of employers who hire illegal workers. Target's Gillen, according to the Times, said the store "launched its internal investigation on its own after fielding allegations — she will not say from whom — that some of its Walnut Creek employees were working at the store illegally."