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What You Should Know
Under IRCA, when hiring, discharging, or recruiting or referring for
a fee, employers with four or more employees may not:
- Discriminate because of national origin against U.S. citizens, U.S.
nationals, and authorized aliens. (Employers of 15 or more employees
should note that the ban on national origin discrimination against
any individual under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
continues to apply.)
- Discriminate because of citizenship status against U.S. citizens,
U.S. nationals, and the following classes of aliens with work
authorization: permanent residents, temporary residents (that is,
individuals who have gone through the legalization program),
refugees, and asylees.
Employers can demonstrate compliance with the law by following the
verification (I-9 Form) requirements and treating all new hires the
same. This includes the following steps:
- Establish a policy of hiring only individuals who are authorized to
work. A "U.S. citizens only" policy in hiring is illegal. An
employer may require U.S. citizenship for a particular job only if it
is required by federal, state, or local law, or by government
- Complete the I-9 Form for all new hires. This form gives employers
a way to establish that the individuals they hire are authorized to
work in the United States.
- Permit employees to present any document or combination of
documents acceptable by law. Employers cannot prefer one document
over others for purposes of completing the I-9 Form. Authorized
aliens do not carry the same documents. For example, not all aliens
who are authorized to work are issued "green cards." As long as the
documents are allowed by law and appear to be genuine on their face
and to relate to the person, they should be accepted. Not to do so
is illegal. Acceptable documents are listed on the reverse side.
IRCA established the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-
Related Unfair Employment Practices to enforce the IRCA
antidiscrimination provision. Discrimination charges are filed with
Charges or written inquiries should be sent to:
The Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair
Employment Practices, P.O. Box 27728, Washington, DC 20038-7728.
For more information, call the OSC Employer Hotline at 1-800-255-8155
(toll free); 1-800-362-2735 (TDD device for the hearing impaired).
For questions about Title VII, please contact the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission at 1-800-669-4000 or 202-275-7518 (TDD).
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