U.S. Law Center

Tips for immigrants entering the workplace in the U.S.

Acquiring an employment visa and starting a new job in California may be an exciting move for a foreign national who is eager to spend time in the United States. Being able to live and work in the country legally is not always an easy process, but Chron.com points out that once people have work permits, the federal government prohibits employers from discriminating against them.

Language can create some barriers to employment since communication is often an essential part of a job. However, as long as a worker can perform the required tasks adequately, an employer cannot refuse to hire someone based on an accent. Employees may speak in their native language when they are not on the clock.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 states that people are protected from discrimination because of national origin throughout the employment process, beginning with the job application. This includes how the worker is treated on the job, as well. Negative comments or racial slurs are considered harassment and are illegal. Religious customs should also be allowed, accommodated and treated with respect as long as they do not interfere with job performance.

According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, all new employees including U.S. citizens and documented immigrants who have valid work visas must fill out the first section of the I-9 form. The information that must be provided includes name, address and birth date. Employers who are using the E-Verify system can require employees to include their U.S. Social Security number, as well. They may not hire or fire an immigrant based on the future expiration date of documents.

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