Filing an Employment Discrimination Charge: A Do-It-Yourself Packet for Immigrant Workers

Filing an Employment Discrimination Charge
A Do-It-Yourself Packet for Immigrant Workers

In 1986, Congress passed the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), which made it unlawful for employers to knowingly hire an undocumented worker and established an employment eligibility verification procedure that employers must follow to verify that employees are authorized to work in the United States. This procedure requires all employees to provide proof of their identity and authorization to work in the U.S. by filling out Form I-9. Given the increased immigration enforcement at the workplace, some employers may be afraid of being sanctioned (either with civil or criminal penalties) while others may be confused with the different types of new verification programs. As a result, some employers may refuse to hire immigrants and other workers who “look or sound” foreign. Other employers refuse to accept valid work authorization papers or will only hire individuals who are lawful permanent residents or U.S. citizens. For these reasons, IRCA also included antidiscrimination provisions that make it unlawful for employers to discriminate or retaliate against workers based on citizenship or immigration status; or to request certain or specific work authorization documents from workers.

If you think an employer did not hire you because you are not a U.S. citizen, you “look or sound” foreign, or the employer wouldn’t accept your valid work authorization documents, you may be the victim of illegal employment discrimination under federal immigration law. This packet will provide you with information about your right to be free of employment discrimination, and how to file a discrimination charge to help you protect your rights as a worker.

To download the do-it-yourself packet, click on the PDF icon, above.