USDOJ’s Office of Special Counsel Offers Tips to Employers to Avoid Discrimination in Hiring

The United States Department of Justice Office of Special Counsel within the agency’s Civil Rights Division offers tips to employers to avoid immigration-related unfair employment practices.

The Office of Special Counsel (OSC) for Immigration-related Unfair Employment Practices enforces the laws that prohibit discriminatory practices in the recruitment, hiring, employment eligibility verification (“Form I-9”) process or dismissal of persons authorized to work in the United States. To avoid such discriminatory practices, the office offers ten tips.

1. Treat all people the same when announcing a job, taking applications, interviewing, offering a job, verifying eligibility to work, hiring, and firing.
2. Examine and accept original documents that reasonably appear genuine and relate to the employee.
3. Do not demand different or additional documents as long as the documents presented prove identity and work authorization, are listed on the back of Form I-9, and appear genuine.
4. So long as the job applicants are authorized to work in the United States, avoid requiring job applicants to have a particular citizenship status, such as U.S. citizenship or permanent residence, unless mandated by law or federal contract.
5. Give out the same job information over the telephone to all callers, and use the same application form for all applicants.
6. Base all decisions about firing on job performance and/or behavior, not on the appearance, accent, name, or citizenship status of your employees.
7. Complete the I-9 form and keep it on file for at least three years from the date of employment or for one year after the employee leaves the job, whichever is later.
8. On the I-9 form, verify that you have seen documents establishing identity and work authorization for all your new employees – U.S. citizens and non-citizens alike – hired after November 6, 1986.
9. If reverification of employment eligibility becomes necessary, accept any valid documents your employee chooses to present – whether or not they are the same documents the employee provided initially.
10. Be aware that U.S. citizenship, or nationality, belongs not only to persons born within the fifty states, but may belong to persons born to a U.S. citizen outside the United States. Persons born in Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, or Swains Island also are U.S. Citizens or nationals. Finally, an immigrant may become a U.S. citizen by completing the naturalization process.

Stewart Rabinowitz is President of Rabinowitz & Rabinowitz, P.C., a Dallas based Immigration Law Firm (http: //www. He is Board Certified in Immigration and Nationality Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

Stewart Rabinowitz is President of Rabinowitz & Rabinowitz, P.C. Mr. Rabinowitz is Board Certified in Immigration and Nationality Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. To contact a Dallas immigration lawyer or Dallas immigration attorney visit