Who is Eligible for a Right to Work Check? - An Expert's Guide

Right to work checks involve the confirmation of a candidate's visa and passport status with the relevant immigration authorities. Documents that establish identity and employment eligibility are derived from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in the United States. Anyone over 18 years of age in the US can use Self Check to confirm their employment eligibility. After entering the requested information, Self Check compares it with government records available in the US.

The DHS and Social Security Administration will confirm your eligibility to work in the US. If you use forged, falsified, or altered documents to prove your identity or authorization to work, you can be fined and even jailed. For workers aged 16 and under, the USCIS considers a school report card, a daycare or day care record, or a hospital record (such as a birth certificate) acceptable as proof of identity. For more information on immigrant documentation, see the Nolo Immigration Law section. An official United States government website is Using official websites.gov which belongs to an official government organization in the US.

The Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER) is part of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice which enforces the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). This law protects people authorized to work from employment discrimination by hiring, firing and recruiting or referring employees for a fee based on citizenship, immigration status and national origin; unfair documentary practices in verifying employees' employment eligibility (Form I-9 and E-Verify); and retaliation. People who believe they have been discriminated against can file charges with the IER and may be entitled to receive retroactive payment and reinstatement, among other resources. The INA's anti-discrimination provision prohibits employers from discriminating against workers based on their citizenship, immigration status or national origin. It also prohibits employers from using unfair documentary practices when verifying employees' employment eligibility.

To file a charge with IER, you must fill out an IER payment form which is available in several languages. Charges must be filed within 180 days of the alleged discrimination or retaliation. More information about filing for office can be found here. Once the IER receives what it considers a position, it will begin its investigation.

If the IER has not filed a complaint with an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) within 120 days of receiving the accusation, it will send a letter notifying the injured party or authorized representative of their right to file an administrative complaint against the defendant and indicating whether IER is continuing with the investigation. The IER will also notify the defendant of its decision to continue with the investigation. The IER can also file a complaint with an administrative law judge after this 120-day investigation period. Once a case is filed, pre-trial matters are generally handled in accordance with applicable standards of practice and procedures and involve the presentation of evidence, statements, and pleadings. The decisions of administrative law judges are directly appealable to the appellate courts of the federal circuit.

Successful agreements or awards can result in the imposition of civil penalties, the award of late payments, procurement orders, and the imposition of precautionary measures to end discriminatory practices. You can report a violation of the anti-discrimination provision without filing a complaint by contacting IER's worker or employer hotline. The IER has multilingual staff including lawyers ready to help workers, employers and members of the public who contact them through these hotlines. They provide workers and employers with information about INA's anti-discrimination provision and help them resolve potential immigration-related labor disputes informally and quickly without contested litigation. The Department of Homeland Security has designated several combinations of acceptable documents from which workers can choose to prove their identity and permission to work. Form I-9 contains lists of acceptable documents that fall into three categories: List A (which establishes both identity and permission to work), List B (which establishes identity) and List C (which establishes permission to work).

Employers cannot specify what documents they will accept from a worker and must not prevent a person from working because of a document's future expiration date. An employment authorization document (EAD), form I-76, is a document from Form I-9 from List A and is sometimes referred to as a “work permit” or “employment authorization card”. In contrast, an “employment authorization document” issued by DHS under Schedule C refers to other types of documents issued by DHS that would not otherwise be included in Lists A, B or C such as an I-94 form issued to asylees or non-immigrants authorized to work (e.g., U visa holders and some T visa holders, H-1B visa holders) because of their immigration status, a current re-entry permit (form I-32), U. S. Certificate of Citizenship (Form N-560) or Certificate of Substitute Citizenship (Form N-561), Certificate of Naturalization (Form N-550) or N-570. For more information on acceptable documents visit I-9 Central.

If you have questions about possible discriminatory practices related to verifying employment eligibility contact IER. Workers and employers are encouraged to call their respective hotlines for help with immigration related employment issues but please note that IER cannot provide legal advice or individual legal representation. Language services are available free of charge but unfortunately IER staff cannot speak at live performances due to time constraints. For media enquiries contact IER's point of contact. In conclusion, right to work checks involve confirming your visa status with relevant immigration authorities in order to prove your identity and eligibility for employment in the US. There are several documents that are accepted by DHS such as school report cards for those aged 16 and under, Form I-9 for those over 18 years old, EADs for those who need additional authorization documents from DHS under Schedule C such as U visa holders or H1B visa holders etc., as well as other forms such as reentry permits etc. It is important for workers and employers alike to understand their rights when it comes to verifying employment eligibility so that they can avoid any potential discrimination issues that may arise due to unfair documentary practices when verifying employees' employment eligibility. If you have any questions about possible discriminatory practices related to verifying employment eligibility contact IER for help.

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