Employer and Employee Rights

The Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices is an office of the U.S.

Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, that assists both immigrants and U.S. citizens who are facing any of the following illegal practices:

  • Citizen/ Immigration Status Discrimination: In many cases, it is illegal for employers to deny workers employment or give preference to workers based solely on their immigration status.

  • National Origin Discrimination: Employers also may not discriminate against workers because they come from another country or speak with a foreign accent. They also may not give preference to workers from one country over workers from another country.

  • Document Abuse: The USCIS has established the I-9 form and the internet-based E-Verify system as two ways to determine work eligibility of applicants for employment. Some employers use the systems incorrectly in ways that deny employment to legal immigrant workers.

  • Retaliation or Intimidation: A worker who files charges with OSC or who testifies as a part of an OSC investigation is protected against retaliation or intimidation by employers.

To get quick advice or make a complaint against an employer when one of these practices is suspected, workers or advocates can call: The OSC Worker Hotline: 1-800-255-7688.

Employers who have questions about how to avoid these illegal practices can call: The OSC Employer Hotline: 1-800-255-8155