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Immigration and Nationality Act Anti-Discrimination Provision

News & Blog

The Justice Department announced on 4/19/23 that it has secured a settlement agreement with General Motors (GM) to resolve the department’s determination that GM discriminated against non-U.S. citizens in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The department’s investigation of GM revealed that the company’s violations stemmed in part from its failure to properly consider the INA’s nondiscrimination requirements when also complying with export control laws.

The INA’s anti-discrimination provision generally prohibits employers from discriminating based on citizenship, immigration status or national origin during the hiring process, including by imposing unnecessary documentary demands as a condition of employment. This law also prohibits employers from asking for more documents than necessary or specific documents when checking an employee’s permission to work because of citizenship, immigration status or national origin. Federal law allows workers to choose which valid, legally acceptable documentation to present to demonstrate their identity and permission to work, regardless of citizenship, immigration status or national origin. As explained in the fact sheet issued today, these employer obligations do not change when complying with export-control laws and regulations.

The department also announced the release of a new fact sheet to help employers avoid citizenship status discrimination when complying with export control laws.

To summarize the fact sheet, you cannot base hiring practices on the citizenship, immigration status, or the national origin of applicants. You may only ask them to provide proof that they are legally able to work in the United States, and the applicant may provide their choice of documentation as proof.

Companies should review their hiring practices and employment application to ensure that you are in compliance with Immigration and Nationality Act policy

This Blog is made available by Wilmarth & Associates for educational purposes as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of export law and compliance, not to provide specific legal advice. This blog is not legal advice and should not be treated as such. You must not rely on this blog as an alternative to legal advice from your attorney or other professional legal services provider. The information provided on this website is presented “as is” without any representations or warranties, express or implied.
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