McDonald’s Appeals Fine for Hiring Illegal Migrant in Russia

MOSCOW, December 17 (RIA Novosti) – Fast food giant McDonald’s has lodged an appeal with Russia’s highest commercial court against a fine imposed for employing an illegal immigrant.

The company was fined 300,000 rubles ($9,100) by the Federal Migration Service after one of its restaurants hired a woman from Kyrgyzstan who did not have a work permit.

The American-owned chain is taking its case to Russia’s Supreme Court of Arbitration after an initial appeal was rejected by the Moscow arbitration court in April.

The Moscow court rejected McDonald’s defense that the woman had claimed in documents to be a Russian citizen, saying that the material had been added to company files after she was detained. Two lower courts had already upheld the judgment against the company.

Anti-migrant sentiment has increased in Russia in the past 10 years in reaction to a huge influx of migrant workers from the North Caucasus and Central Asia. Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin promised repeatedly to take a tough stance on immigration to the capital during his recent successful election campaign.

However, while popular sentiment is hostile to large-scale migration, the government is acutely aware that migrant labor is vital to the economy. Russia’s demographic profile means that the number of working-age people is falling rapidly.

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