10.1.1 Overview of Federal Employment Discrimination Laws
The anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), as amended, prohibits four types of unlawful conduct:
- Unfair documentary practices;
- Citizenship or immigration status discrimination in hiring, firing, and recruiting;
- National origin discrimination in hiring, firing, and recruiting; and
- Retaliation or intimidation.
The Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER), enforces this law.
The EEOC enforces federal equal employment opportunity laws that prohibit employment discrimination against applicants, employees, and former employees. These laws include the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (Title VII), the Equal Pay Act (EPA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, or sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity), including in Form I-9 and E-Verify processes. Each of the federal laws enforced by the EEOC also protect workers from retaliation for reasonably opposing discrimination or for participating in a discrimination investigation or proceeding. EEOC laws apply regardless of an individual’s citizenship or immigration status.