African Immigrants are faced with diverse kinds of discrimination in the US. And most times, immigrants are marginalized because they look or sound different.
If you are maltreated or discriminated in your workplace by an employer, you can fight back.
We are beginning a Monday Law Series where we will be looking at how African immigrants can lawfully fight for their rights in their workplace and demand for fair treatment from their employers.
Brief Origin Of The Employment Discrimination Charge
Before 1986, there was no law regulating how employers could hire immigrants. And as a result, employers were able to hire undocumented immigrants.
With the introduction of the IRCA (Immigration Reform and Control Act), employers were mandated to hire only documented workers.
Also, Congress introduced a status verification process known as the employment eligibility verification.
The employment eligibility verification was a procedure introduced to ascertain the validity of an employee. As part of the process, an employee is required to fill out Form I-9.
Form I-9 is a way of providing proof of your authorization and identity to be employed in the US.
The whole process was introduced to curb the employment of undocumented immigrants and to ensure that only authorized immigrants can work in the US.
However, a public phobia swept through the populace as most employers did not fully understand the whole procedure while others were afraid of being sanctioned.
Due to the increased rejection of qualified immigrants in the labor market, an anti-discrimination provision was included in the IRCA.
The inclusion of the anti-discrimination provision made it unlawful for employers to discriminate against employees based on immigration status.
Therefore, you can be a victim of illegal employment discrimination if an employer did not hire you or accept valid documents from you because of your skin color and race.
In this series, you will gain insights on how to be free from employment discrimination. We will also unveil how you can file a discrimination charge when you’re being marginalized in the workplace.
Basic Things To Know
Although the process is pretty simple, most employees tend to get confused during the filing process.
There are two things you’ve got to know before you can take any action. And having a full grasp of these things will go a long way in ensuring that you’re not discriminated at work.
Here are the two primary things to know
- Employer Sanctions:
The federal law prohibits employers from hiring immigrants with invalid identification.
In situations where the employer is fully aware of the ineligibility of the immigrant, a penalty known as employer sanctions will be issued to the employer.
Typically, the employer sanctions are issued to employers who did not complete the Form I-9, hired an unauthorized employee, or continue to accommodate an employee knowing that such a worker is undocumented.
- How Immigrant Workers Are Affected By Sanctions:
With the emergence of employer sanctions, some employers tried to escape penalties by hiring only US citizens.
Others used it as a way to punish immigrant workers they don’t like or to eliminate immigrant workers who try to organize labor unions.
Due to these disturbing trends, Congress enacted some ways to safeguard immigrants from discrimination.
Therefore, employers who discriminate against lawfully authorized immigrants will face legal penalties.
The anti-discrimination provision was provided to protect immigrants who are authorized to work in the US.
However, the anti-discrimination provision can only be used by immigrants who know their rights and know how to use the laws to protect themselves.
This series is written to help authorized African immigrants to protect themselves against all forms of discrimination at work.
What is the Form I-9? And how can you enforce the anti-discrimination provision?
Next week on Monday Law Series, we will unveil everything you need to know about the Form I-9 and show you how to protect yourself by enforcing the anti-discrimination provision.