Understanding the Right to Work Check Requirement

Federal law prohibits individuals or companies from hiring an independent contractor knowing that the independent contractor is not authorized to work in the U. S. UU. Form I-9 is not required for occasional household services, but employers must still abide by the law.

In most cases, if your company uses a temporary or staffing agency to obtain workers, those workers are employees of that agency and serve the company as independent contractors. The agency completes Form I-9 for each worker it provides to your company, because workers are considered employees of the agency, not your company. The Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER) of the Civil Rights Division of the U. Department of Justice enforces the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

This law protects people authorized to work from employment discrimination in the hiring, firing, and hiring or referral of personnel in exchange for a fee based on citizenship, immigration status, and national origin; from unfair documentary practices when verifying employees' employment eligibility (Form I-9 and E-Verify); and of retaliation. People who believe they have been discriminated against can file charges with the IER and may have the right to receive late payments and to reinstatement, among other resources. The INA's anti-discrimination provision prohibits employers from discriminating against individuals based on their citizenship, immigration status, or national origin. It also prohibits employers from requiring more or different documents than necessary to verify employment eligibility or refusing to accept documents that reasonably appear to be genuine.

To file a complaint with the IER, you can use their collection form which is available in several languages. Charges must be filed within 180 days of the alleged discrimination or retaliation. After receiving a complaint, the IER will begin its investigation and may file a complaint with an administrative law judge after a 120-day investigation period. Successful agreements or awards can result in civil penalties, late payment awards, hiring orders, and the imposition of injunctive measures to end discriminatory practices.

You can also contact the IER for help through their hotline for workers or employers. The IER has multilingual staff, including lawyers, ready to help workers, employers and the general public with immigration-related employment issues. Please note that IER cannot provide legal advice or individual legal representation. The Department of Homeland Security has designated several acceptable document combinations from which workers can choose to prove their identity and permission to work on Form I-9.An employment authorization document (EAD), Form I-76, is a document from list A of Form I-9 and is sometimes referred to as a “work permit” or “employment authorization card”.

In contrast, an “employment authorization document” issued by DHS under Schedule C refers to other types of documents issued by DHS that would not otherwise be included in the list of acceptable documents. If you have questions about potential discriminatory practices related to verifying employment eligibility, contact the IER for help.

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