Bethlehem Citizenship & Immigration Discrimination Lawyers

Serving the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania Area

The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (“IRCA”) prohibits employers with more than four employees from discriminating against U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals and authorized aliens with respect to hiring, discharging or recruiting or referring for a fee on the basis of the national origin of an employee or prospective employee. Additionally, IRCA prohibits employers with four or more employers from discriminating against U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, permanent residents, refugees and asyleees in hiring, discharging or recruiting or referring for a fee on the basis of an employee’s or prospective employee’s citizenship status.

Documented immigrants should be aware that an employer may not require employees to be U.S. citizens unless federal, state or local law or government contract mandates that the employer hire only U.S. citizens. Further, federal law establishes the forms of identification that immigrants may present to demonstrate their legal status. Employers must accept all forms of identification permitted by federal law; they cannot chose to accept only some of the permitted types of identification. If they do, they have engaged in discriminatory conduct.

An individual who believes that he or she has been discriminated against with respect to his national origin or citizenship status may file a complaint with the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices. At Littner, Deschler & Littner, we can assist you in navigating the legal process of filing discrimination complaints with the Office of Special Counsel.

It is critically important for employees and prospective employees to understand that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits national origin discrimination by employers with fifteen or more employees. Employees should be advised that, if they file a national origin discrimination complaint under IRCA that could also be brought under Title VII, they may not also file a complaint under Title VII. Likewise, if an individual files a national origin complaint under Title VII, he or she may not also file a national origin complaint under IRCA.

Employers today will not typically discriminate in an open and explicit manner. For example, if an employer fires an employee because he is an alien, the employer will not usually acknowledge to the employee that he is being fired on account of his citizenship status.

However, just because discrimination is not open and obvious does not mean that it does not exist. One way an employee can prove discrimination on the basis of his or her citizenship status is to show that other employees of a different citizenship status who are similarly situated to the discriminated-against employee were treated differently. If you have suffered an adverse employment action, such as a demotion or discharge, and similarly-situated co-workers of a different citizenship status or national origin who engaged in the same behavior did not suffer the adverse employment action, you may have a discrimination claim against your employer.

If you believe you have suffered employment discrimination because of your national origin or citizenship status, call an employment discrimination attorney at Littner, Deschler & Littner immediately to discuss your case. We can assist you in understanding your options and the strength of your case. Employees and prospective employees should be advised that there is a strict and relatively short deadline for filing a discrimination claim with the Office of Special Counsel. Do not lose your right to bring a claim and get the relief you deserve. Schedule an appointment with Littner, Deschler & Littner today.