In the U.S., it is illegal for most employers to discriminate against applicants or employees because of their immigration status. Provided you have legal authorization to work in the U.S., your employer or prospective employer should not discriminate against you.
When you start a new job, your employer should ask you to complete an I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Form. If your employer does any of the following, though, you may be the victim of impermissible immigration status discrimination.
1. Asking for specific documents
While there are some limited exceptions, your employer likely cannot ask you for specific documents when completing the employment eligibility verification process. That is, you have the option of providing either one document from List A or a one document from List B plus one from List C of the List of Acceptable Documents.
2. Using E-Verify selectively
The Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration have an internet-based program many employers voluntarily use to verify employment eligibility. If your employer uses E-Verify, someone from the company must follow the program’s strict rules. Using E-Verify selectively or improperly may be evidence of immigration status discrimination.
3. Requiring additional steps
Unless you have temporary work authorization or interrupted employment, you should not have to update your I-9 or complete the form more than once for a single employer. If your employer adds additional steps to the employment eligibility verification process, you may be a target of discrimination.
You may face serious consequences because of your employer’s discriminatory behavior. Therefore, you may need to act quickly both to protect your job and to assert your legal rights.