Memphis immigration lawyer Ari Sauer provides news and information on US immigration law.
Employers are required to complete an I-9 form for each employee and should only hire employees who are authorized to work in the U.S. But it is very easy for companies to be so afraid of hiring unauthorized workers that they discriminate against employees based on their race or national origin, which can create an even bigger liability for the company. So the Department of Justice has issued the following list:
TEN TIPS FOR AVOIDING EMPLOYEE DISCRIMINATION
1. Treat all people the same when announcing a job, taking applications, interviewing, offering a job, verifying eligibility to work, hiring, and firing.
2. Examine and accept original documents that reasonably appear genuine and relate to the employee.
3. Do not demand different or additional documents as long as the documents presented prove identity and work authorization, are listed on the back of Form I-9, and appear genuine.
4. So long as the job applicants are authorized to work in the U.S., avoid requiring job applicants to have a particular citizenship status, such as U.S. citizenship or permanent residence, unless mandated by law or federal contract.
5. Give out the same job information over the telephone to all callers, and use the same application form for all applicants.
6. Base all decisions about firing on job performance and/or behavior, not on the appearance, accent, name, or citizenship status of your employees.
7. Complete the I-9 form and keep it on file for at least 3 years from the date of employment or for one year after the employee leaves the job, whichever is later.
8. On the I-9 form, verify that you have seen documents establishing identity and work authorization for all your new employees- U.S. citizens and noncitizens alike- hired after November 6, 1986.
9. If reverification of employment eligibility becomes necessary, accept any valid documents your employee chooses to present- whether or not they are the same documents the employee provided initially.
10. Be aware that U.S. citizenship, or nationality, belongs not only to persons born within the 50 states, but may also belong to persons born to a U.S. citizen outside the U.S. Persons born in Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, or Swains Island also are U.S. citizens or nationals. Finally, an immigrant may become a U.S. citizen by completing the naturalization process.