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Be alert to changes in immigration laws.

This want ad may sound reasonable; however, under the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986, it's illegal. Discrimination in the workplace is often easily identifiable from the start by the wording of the help wanted advertisement. Sometimes it is apparent before the interview begins. In other instances, it is covert and difficult to distinguish.

Want ads, similar to the one above, indicating discriminatory practices have been reviewed by staff of the Office of the Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices, an independent office of the U.S. Department of Justice. Resulting investigations have caused over 1 00 companies to change their hiring practices.

The amnesty, employment sanctions and antidiscrimination measures of IRCA were hotly debated by Congress. The outcome was a law designed to counteract the steady influx of illegal aliens into the U.S. and insure employment eligibility by requiring employers to verify work authorization of all new hires. An amendment to the law addressed congressional concerns that employers' fears of government sanctions would encourage discriminatory hiring practices against work authorized noncitizens, ethnic minorities or anyone perceived as looking or sounding "foreign."

National origin discrimination is clearly not a new issue. Most employers have known since the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that discrimination based on national origin is prohibited and that the Act is enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. However, the Civil Rights Act only applies to employers with 15 or more employees. The Immigration Reform and Control Act extends coverage against national origin discrimination to employers with four to 14 employees, and grants enforcement authority to the Department of Justice's Off ice of the Special Counsel. In addition, IRCA prohibits citizenship status discrimination by all employers of four or more employees.

in order to implement and enforce the new law, thereby keeping unauthorized aliens out of the work force, the federal government through the immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) has developed an Employment Eligibility Verification Form or 1-9 form. All employers, regardless of the number of employees, have the responsibility to see that this form is completed and verified for each employee (citizen or alien) hired after November6,1986. The verification forms must be retained for three years or one year after employment terminates, whichever is longer.

New hires have three business days from the date of hire to present to the employer document(s) that establish their identity and eligibility for work in the U.S. There are many identifying documents that are acceptable. It is up to the employee to select which document to present. The employer may not choose or request one acceptable document over another. Some of the more common documents that establish both identity and work authorization are a current or expired U.S. passport, Certificate of U.S. Citizenship, Certificate of Naturalization, and Temporary or Permanent Resident Cards.

Employees who cannot supply one of these documents must provide a combination of two documents: one for identity (e.g., state-issued driver's license with photo, school registration card with photo); and one for work authorization (e.g., Social Security card, U.S. Citizen ID, INS Form 1-197 or unexpired INS Employment Authorization document). Remember, employers cannot require one document over another and they must accept one of a number of documents deemed acceptable by the INS. A complete list of documents is contained in the Handbook for Employers (M-274) available at any INS off ice.

Employers cannot discriminate against applicants whose documents have a future expiration date. In most cases, these individuals are in the process of obtaining permanent eligibility and are protected by law. For example, through IRCA, undocumented workers who qualified under the amnesty program were granted work authorization. These workers are authorized aliens who do not have a green card. They are, however, protected by law and may eventually apply for U.S. citizenship.

If a new hire needs time to obtain a copy of the acceptable document(s) to comply, he or she may begin work, but must provide the employer with proof of application for a duplicate within three business days. By doing so, the new hire lawfully gains a 21 business day extension from the date of hire to present the required document. However, it should be noted that this additional time is granted for the employee to get copies of documents, not to get initial governmental permission to work.

if the employee is a temporary hire for less than three business days, he or she must complete the Form 1-9 satisfactorily by the end of the first working day. Some special considerations are given to minors and handicapped individuals for alternate identification documents. New Procedures

The INS has announced that recent

applicants for permanent status in the

U.S. will be first to receive the new

alien resident card, commonly known

as the green card. The card presents

evidence of both employment eligibility

and proof of identity. Not only has

the color changed to a rose or off-pink

tone, but the card now takes advantage

of new technology, making it

more difficult to counterfeit. The new

Alien Resident Receipt Card bears a

photograph, fingerprint, signature and

expiration date. Both the new and

older versions of the card will continue

to be valid. However, unlike older

versions, which were valid indefinitely,

the new card will have an expiration

date 1 0 years f rom the date of issue,

yet there will be no need to update the

1-9 because employment authorization

is unlimited for 1-551 holders.

Also a new Employment Authorization

Document (EAD) was issued recently

by the INS and will be phased in

during the next year.the ad, like the

new Resident Receipt Card bears the

noncitizen's photograph, fingerprint,

signature and expiration date.
COPYRIGHT 1991 American Foundry Society, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
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Title Annotation:Management Matters
Publication:Modern Casting
Date:Apr 1, 1991
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