Many employers believe that immigration law only applies to businesses that sponsor visas or are multinational companies. That is a dangerous assumption. Immigration law applies to every U.S. small and large in every industry. Affects business. Every U.S. business must verify that it only employs people who have the authority to work in the United States. This process is achieved through Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. Penalties range from I 230 to-1,948 per I-9 for not having this form or for not completing / maintaining it properly, depending on the percentage of violations.
In addition to the employment eligibility verification requirement, businesses should have anti-immigration discrimination provisions that require refusal to recognize valid documents in the process of completing I-9 and to obtain U.S. citizenship based on citizenship or immigration status. Workers are prohibited from being improperly rejected. How can this be? Here are some examples:
Legal permanent residents are required to provide a green card during the I-9 process
Re-verification of green cards during the I-9 process
The recruitment process has the language of “US citizen only”
Reject the applicant for the job because they may need visa sponsorship in the future even though they currently have valid work authorization.
A Social Security number does not match, and the employee is fired before the investigation is conducted
Don’t move forward in this difficult area of legal compliance. You are a U.S. citizen. Whether the company is sponsored or not, compliance in this area is mandatory and companies should consult their immigration expert to understand their legal obligations. For additional information, please contact Esther Contrares or any other member of the draft Fanai Immigration Practice Group.