Lawmakers have recently reintroduced the Accountability through Electronic Verification Act that would require all U.S. employers to use the E-Verify to ensure that U.S. jobs are filled by Americans and foreign citizens that have a legal right to work in the country.
The legislation would permanently reauthorize the e-verify program created in 1996 and put the onus on employers to participate or face increased penalties. Under the bill, employers can use e-verify before they hire if consent is given by the candidate for employment or e-verify after the hire date. If a person is found unauthorized to work due to an e-verify check, the employer is required to terminate employment.
Of course there is a balance between compliance and avoiding discrimination claims, especially if an employee is flagged on the system with the return of a “tentative non-confirmation status’ instead of having their employment authorized. In this case employers are required to notify the employee privately of the results of the e-verify and have them sigh the further action notice explain the reason for the TNC.
The employee must then be given the option to contest the results, in which case the employer must issue a referral date confirmation form e-verify providing the necessary contact information to the employee. The employer may terminate employment only after an individual refuses to contest the TNC or a Final Non-Confirmation result is issued.
This is the juncture where a charge of discrimination based on citizenship, immigration or national origin can happen. Misuse of the e-verify system by an employer sometimes costs someone who is legally allowed to work in the US their job, a wrongful termination which can result in untold harm to the employee.
If you have been denied employment or terminated in what you believe is really discrimination based on citizenship, immigration or national origin it may be that your rights were violated under e-verify. Employers who submit inaccurate information to e-verify that result in a TNC, who do not provide the option for employees to contest the results, or use e-verify as a tool to prescreen or discriminate against individuals based on their national origin, citizenship or immigration status may be in violation of the law.
If an employee suspects their employer is discriminating based on citizenship, immigration status, national origin, or other discriminatory misuse of the e-verify system, the employee can notify Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER) of the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, who will review charges of discrimination. Employers in violation are subject to civil penalties, back pay, hiring orders, the imposition of injunctive relief to end discriminatory practices, and attorneys’ fee awards.
If you have been subject to discrimination on the basis of national origin, race/color, religion, sex including sexual harassment and pregnancy, disability or other protected classes, contact Des Moines employment discrimination lawyer Marc A. Humphrey for immediate assistance at 515-331-3510.