How to Avoid Workplace Discrimination
- Let employees choose which documents to present in order to prove identity and work authorization. All documents listed on the back of Form I-9 are acceptable, as long as they appear to be reasonably genuine
- Treat all people the same when announcing job openings, taking applications, interviewing applicants, offering jobs, verifying eligibility to work, and hiring/firing.
- Remember that U.S. citizenship or nationality belongs to all individuals born of a U.S. citizen and all persons born in Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, and Swains Island. Legal immigrants receive citizenship after they have completed the naturalization process.
- Avoid "citizens only" hiring policies or requiring that applicants have a particular immigration status. These practices are illegal in most cases.
- Give out the same job information to all applicants at all times, and use the same hiring procedures for everyone.
- Base all workplace decisions about hiring, firing, promotions or discipline on employees' job performance and/or behavior - not on appearance, accent, name, or citizenship status.
- Employers can require their employees to speak fluent English only when there is a legitimate business necessity. Employers may not discriminate in hiring based upon a personal dislike (or a concern for their customers' potential dislike) of a particular accent.
- Employers should not prohibit their employees from speaking another language during break time or during work time when safety, efficiency or customer service are not affected.
Employers may set standards of dress or appearance in the workplace. However, dress codes should take into account different racial or ethnic characteristics, and should avoid setting standards that would deny a job to members of a particular race, national origin, religion or gender.