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Is your employer using E-Verify to discriminate against you?

If you have seen a news broadcast in the last couple of years, you know immigration is a hot issue in the U.S. The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 prohibits employers from intentionally hiring individuals who lack legal authorization to work in the country. To determine whether workers have authorization, most employers must complete I-9 forms. 

Some employers choose to take the employment verification process to another level. E-Verify is an electronic program that uses several databases to verify employment eligibility. If your employer participates in the program, however, you must be certain you do not become the victim of discrimination. If you think your employer has used E-Verify incorrectly, you may need to act quickly to assert your legal rights

How E-Verify works 

Your employer likely does not have a legal obligation to participate in the E-Verify program. If your employer chooses to do so voluntarily, however, its representative must follow the program’s rules carefully. After you provide documentation for I-9 purposes, your employer must enter information into the system. 

In most cases, employers receive eligibility confirmation immediately. In some instances, however, the system generates a tentative nonconfirmation notice. Your employer should give you a copy of the notice and give you up to eight days or longer to correct the problem. 

Signs of possible discrimination 

Even if your employer does not intend to discriminate against you, misusing E-Verify could constitute discrimination. Here are some signs your employer may be using E-Verify to discriminate against you:

  • Rather than E-Verifying all new hires, your employer selectively chooses which ones to check.
  • Your employer refuses to let you work after you receive a tentative nonconfirmation notice.
  • Your employer does not give you a copy of the tentative nonconfirmation notice.
  • Your employer asks for specific documentation during the employment verification process.
  • Your employer uses E-Verify to check the authenticity of documents that have expired. 

Employers often use E-Verify for additional certainty that employees have legal authorization to work in the United States. They must, however, use the system correctly. If your employer misuses E-Verify, you may be the victim of discrimination.