Employers doing business in the United States territory are required to uphold the employment rights of applicants and employees. Furthermore, under Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), employers are prohibited from discriminating against applicants and employees based on their national origin and citizenship status. In this regard, it is a must for each employer and people in the workforce to keenly observe their responsibilities and rights under the law in order to preserve the country’s campaign against workplace discrimination.

The Basics of INA with Respect to Employment Rights

In accordance to Unfair Immigration-related Employment Practices provisions of INA, employers are strictly required not to commit any discriminatory actions against employees as well as applicants due to their citizenship status and/or origin of nationality.

Under Section 274B of INA, an employment practice may be considered as discriminatory employment-related action if it discriminates against a person based on his citizenship status and national origin. The following are forms of employment practice that may be an agent for discriminatory acts:

•    Hiring
•    Termination
•    Recruitment
•    Referral for a fee

Employers with three or more employees are required to abide by the rules and provisions set by INA. Additionally, only employees and applicants who legally hold American citizenship and nationality are covered by the Act.

Key Elements of INA

Under INA, there are particular noteworthy provisions that employers and employees need to adhere to. The following are important details and requirements pursuant to the Act:

Only legal American citizens or nationals are protected by INA – this means that an alien who is legally admitted for permanent residence, temporary residence, refugee, or asylum is protected by the Act. Furthermore, an alien who fails to apply for naturalization within six months from the first day of his first eligibility to apply for naturalization is also covered.

Restrictions of intimidation or retaliation – under INA, employers are prohibited to intimidate or retaliate against an employee or applicant who is practicing his rights under the Act.

Complaint and charge – employees and applicants who feel that their rights under INA were violated by their employer, they may file a complaint or charge against the involved entity. The complaint should be submitted to the Special Counsel that will investigate and verify the claim. If the complaint is valid, the Special Counsel will press charges against the non-complying employer.

In order to fully comprehend the legal background and provisions of INA, employers and workers may seek assistance from an employment lawyer.