Understanding laws and regulations regarding employee eligibility is crucial to operating any business. As you begin the hiring process, you should be aware of all requirements you and your employees must adhere to. There are certain rules you must follow when you are hiring immigrant workers. The three main things you should be concerned with are employment eligibility, non-discrimination, and employment verification. Here’s a guide to properly hiring noncitizens.
Employee Eligibility and Verification
Employees need to meet certain eligibility standards in order to be hired. It is your job as an employer to verify that your new employees are eligible to work in the United States. You need to complete an I-9 form within the first three days of hiring an employee. The form requires you to examine the employee’s documentation that relates to his or her eligibility to work. You must only ask for documentation that is listed on the form. Here is the list of documents that may be required of your new hire:
• Green card
• Driver’s license
• ID card
• US military card
• Social Security card
• Birth certificate
• US passport
If you ask for other forms of documentation, you could be at risk for a discrimination lawsuit.
Your job as an employer is to examine the documents and only accept them if they seem genuine. If you hire an employee who isn’t authorized to work, you could face a verification violation. Once you’ve completed the I-9 form, you need to keep it on file for either one year after your employee’s employment ends, or three years after your employee is hired—whichever date is later. You need it on file because the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency regularly conducts workplace audits. They ensure that government records align with the employee’s information on the I-9 forms.
Hiring Workers Who are Nonresidents
If you want to hire a person who lives outside the country for permanent work, you need to file a Petition for Alien Worker, I-140 form, and possibly an ETA 750, which is a labor certification request. If you want to hire a nonresident for temporary labor or services you need to file an I-129. Hiring noncitizen workers for seasonal work, which is usually done by agricultural companies, means you need to apply for the H-2A Temporary Foreign Worker Program.
There are many provisions set in place that protect authorized workers and U.S. citizens from being discriminated against for their immigration or citizenship status. All authorized workers are protected from retaliation, unfair documentary practices during the eligibility verification process, and national origin discrimination. The non-discrimination provisions set in place by the Immigrant and Nationality Act are enforced by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Getting a No-Match Letter
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency verifies the accuracy of I-9 forms, and the Social Security Administration verifies the accuracy of W-2 forms. If either or both agencies find that any information is invalid or missing, you will be sent a no-match letter to inform you that your employee’s information does not match the government records.
Receiving this letter is not an indication for you to fire the employee. In fact, you may face a discrimination lawsuit if you fire an employee solely based on a no-match letter. Instead, you simply need to follow up with ICE or the SSA and follow their procedures.
It’s important for you to conduct your workplace in the proper manner when hiring employees. Following all rules and regulations will help protect you and your employees from lawsuits, discrimination, and violations. Whether you hire citizens or noncitizens, you must verify them properly and never discriminate against them. Carefully consider all the rules you must obey and make sure you take the necessary steps to run your business in a professional manner.
The content on our website is only meant to provide general information and is not legal advice. We make our best efforts to make sure the information is accurate, but we cannot guarantee it. Do not rely on the content as legal advice. For assistance with legal problems or for a legal inquiry please contact you attorney.