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Microsoft to overhaul hiring practises following DoJ settlement

An investigation found that the tech giant asked lawful residents for more information than was legally necessary

Microsoft has said it will update its hiring practices after the US Department of Justice (DoJ) found the tech giant had demanded more information from potential candidates.  

The announcement came after the DoJ released details of a settlement with Microsoft for breaking federal law between February 2018 and January 2020. 

The DoJ states that "six or more" lawful residents were asked to "reverify their continuing permission to work in the United States" and that Microsoft sent emails to verify work authorization for people who had already presented permanent resident cards.

At least three employees, who had become legal residents after joining the tech giant, were asked to show their identification documents.

Under the settlement, Microsoft will "overhaul" parts of its hiring process to ensure it no longer unlawfully requires non-US citizens to provide specific immigration documents for visa sponsorship when applying for jobs.

The company will also end the practice of sending emails to request documents to verify work authorisation to "those who should not be reverified", the DoJ said.

Additionally, the settlement will force Microsoft to allow workers who need to show their continued work authorization to provide their choice of documentation, provided it is acceptable for its intended purpose.

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What's more, Microsoft employees responsible for verifying worker citizenship must have specific training to do so. 

In a statement, Microsoft said it would address the issues raised by the DoJ during its investigation. 

"We hire and confirm employment eligibility for tens of thousands of people, and a handful were mistakenly asked for extra information or documentation," a spokesperson told CNBC. "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."

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