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Immigration Status Discrimination


Immigration Status Discrimination in the Workplace

Immigration and Nationality Act Prohibits Discrimination Against Protected Employees Based on National Origin and Citizenship Status.

Immigration status discrimination targets employees and job applicants that may not be natural-born US citizens. It occurs when employers use your immigration or citizenship status to make negative employment decisions. Federal and state laws prohibit employers from using immigration status for decisions relating to hiring, firing, promotions, raises, and more.

Furthermore, an employer cannot call ICE in retaliation against you based on your illegal immigration status. The laws prohibit any type of retaliation or wrongful termination based on your immigration or citizenship status. If your employer violates these laws, you have the right to seek compensation. You will want the help of an attorney that will advocate for your rights to work regardless of your immigration or citizenship status.

What is Discrimination Based on Immigration?

Immigration and citizenship status relate to your legal rights to live and work in the United States. It is a form of national origin discrimination. You may not be a full citizen or a national of the US. However, that does not mean that you are not here legally and entitled to work.

Employers must treat all lawful immigrants with the right to work in the US, in the same manner, they treat US citizens. You have the right to work in the United States with the following methods:

  • A green card
  • A work visa
  • You have applied for naturalization and are in the process of obtaining citizenship.

When an employer uses your immigrations status to make negative employment decisions, such as the following, they may be committing immigration discrimination:

  • Hiring
  • Firing
  • Promotions
  • Raises
  • Reassignments
  • Demotions
  • Reduction in hours
  • Harassment

What Are Some Examples of Immigration Status Discrimination?

Immigration status discrimination can take many forms. Some examples of immigration discrimination may include, but are not limited to:

  • An employer refuses to hire a person with a green card.
  • Your supervisor demotes you because he learns you are here on a work visa.
  • Your boss fires you when he learns you are a permanent resident and not a citizen.
  • Your coworkers make jokes that you should go back to your country. You are in the US on a work visa.
  • Your manager refuses to promote you because you are from another country and still in the process of obtaining your US citizenship.
  • Your boss calls ICE on you because you refused to go on a date with her.
  • Your manager denied you and your family company health insurance because you are married to a green cardholder.

What Laws Protect Employees from Citizenship Status Discrimination?

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects employees from discrimination based on national origin. National origin is your nationality or the country from which you came. National origin can also relate to your immigration status in the US. The law protects employees working within a company with 15 or more employees. The law protects employees against discrimination based on citizenship status. It also protects employees from any form of retaliation, including retaliation based on illegal immigration status.

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) also prohibits employers from using citizenship status and national origin in any employment-related decision. The law also protects against requiring unfair documentation when verifying a right to work in the US and retaliation or intimidation against a person based on immigration or citizenship status.

What Is the Process to File an Immigration Discrimination Charge?

The EEOC receives all Title VII claims.  The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) requires charges are filed within 180 days of the date of the discriminating incident. If you live in a state with a national origin anti-discrimination law, the EEOC provides 300 days to file your claim.

An INA charge is brought under the Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER). The law protects employees working for companies with four to 14 employees. The IER sets a statute of limitations of 180 days to file a claim with the IER under the INA.

The EEOC and IER maintain a memorandum of understanding. If a charge is filed with the EEOC and should be with the IER, the EEOC will transfer the charge. The same occurs when a charge is filed with the IER and should be with the EEOC.

What Remedies Are Available for Victims of Immigration Discrimination in the Workplace?

When you file a claim for citizenship status discrimination, you want compensation. You and your immigration status discrimination attorney can request relief from the courts to help you move on to the next chapter of your life.

If you are the victim of citizenship status discrimination or harassment in the workplace, the courts may provide some of the following remedies for your ordeal:

  • Reinstatement of employment
  • Reviewing and revamping of company policy
  • Reimbursement of related expenses
  • Attorney fees
  • Court fees
  • Lost Wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Punitive damages

How Long Will Your Immigration Discrimination Claim Take?

Immigration discrimination claims can take a few short months to several years to complete litigation. Your case’s details and your employer’s willingness to negotiate a fair settlement directly affect the length of time your case may take.

Sometimes an employer will negotiate a fair settlement before your attorney even files the complaint. After a few short months, you and your employer can walk away and move on from the ordeal.

However, employers will often begin the litigation process before agreeing to a fair and equitable settlement. In these cases, your case may take several years to reach a settlement everyone can agree upon. Your case can settle at any point in the process, up until the court enters their judgment.

In some cases, your employer will wait until the court enters a judgment. These cases can take the longest amount of time to end. Contact a qualified immigration discrimination lawyer to help negotiate your claim for a fair, equitable, and fast settlement.

Why Should You Contact an Immigration Discrimination Lawyer?

Immigration discrimination can be devastating. You may feel like you are not only fighting for your job but fighting for your legal right to live and work in the United States. Many times, victims are angry, humiliated, and frightened. You may feel like you do not have any rights or wonder where to even begin to fight for the rights you thought you had.

An immigration and employment discrimination lawyer understands your employment rights relating to your citizenship status. They can guide you through the process of creating your claim to ensure you highlight your rights and the violations that occurred, including any forms of illegal immigration status, such as calling ICE as a form of retaliation.

Furthermore, they can stand as your advocate, ensuring your voice is heard against people who would rather you did not have a voice at all. They will ensure your claims, answers, and filings all get filed within the timelines allowed by law. They will ensure you get the compensation you deserve.

Contact an Experienced Immigration Discrimination Attorney for Your Free Consultation

If you are legally in the United States and allowed to work under your immigration status, an employer cannot legally deny your rights.

If you have been denied employment, fired from work, or otherwise harmed in your employment because of your citizenship, immigration status, or type of work authorization, the experienced employment discrimination attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group can help.

Are You the Victim of Immigration Discrimination? Do You Want to Know More About Your Rights Under the Law? Please Call 800.807.2209 or Email with Your Questions.

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