It could be tricky for Aurora employers to comply with the sheer number of federal requirements. While you are willing to abide by the requirements of the federal government, you may still find it difficult to hire employees legally without offending potential employees. Fortunately, there are questions to ask new employees without discriminating against them. An experienced attorney in Aurora could help you better understand how you could abide by federal regulations while maintaining both your and an employee’s rights.
Federal Employment Discrimination Laws
The laws regarding what might be asked of new employees or interviewees are codified in part by United States Code Title 8 §1324b, titled Unfair Immigration-Related Practices. Simply, it is unjust for employers to act with prejudice against employees because of their immigration status when hiring or terminating them.
However, this law does not apply to individuals who are not authorized to work in the United States. Those who enter the country illegally or who do not have the proper immigration status for employment are excluded from this statute as they are not considered protected citizens.
Who Is a Protected Citizen Under U.S. Law?
Employers in Aurora are allowed to ask applicants or new employees if they are authorized to work legally in the United States. An affirmative response might indicate that they are protected citizens.
Federal law defines a protected citizen as any of the following:
- United States citizen
- A person with a green card
- Lawful temporary resident for purposes of asylum
By asking a new worker if he or she is legally authorized to work in the United States, an employee might feel assured that they are in compliance with federal employment laws. This knowledge may also alert a company that the Unfair Immigration-Related Practices law applies to such workers.
Employer Sponsorship and Discrimination
A second question to inquire of new workers in Aurora is whether or not they need to be sponsored by the company in order to be employed there legally. A business that does not wish to sponsor a worker might feel compelled to do so for fear of discriminating against that worker.
In actuality, per 8 U.S.C. §1324b, a company may choose to hire an American citizen over someone they would need to sponsor so long as the qualifications of the two are equal. Moreover, if a business owner has three or fewer employees, much of the Unfair Immigration-Related Practices law does not apply to them.
Problems with Hiring Unauthorized Workers
Under Federal law, businesses are prohibited from hiring unauthorized workers. Under 8 U.S.C. §1324a, it is illegal to employ individuals that are known to be prohibited from working in the United States.
Subsequently, inquiring as to whether a new employee is authorized to work in the country may be an important question to ask. Business who know or should have known that a worker was not allowed to be employed by them could be subject to criminal sanctions.
If in Doubt, Ask an Immigration Attorney in Aurora
Immigration has always been a political and social subject of much contention. For businesses, it is critical that employers follow federally regulated laws for new hires. In order for businesses and their management to ensure compliance with federal laws, it could be beneficial to speak with an immigration lawyer in the area.
If you are unsure about what questions to ask new employees in Aurora, you could call a local immigration attorney who may have experience with your industry.