On April 16, 2010, the Justice Department filed a complaint against John Jay College alleging that the college engaged in a pattern and practice of discrimination by requiring all non-U.S. citizens to present certain work authorization documents to the exclusion of other acceptable documents.
Federal law requires all U.S. employers to document that each employee hired after November 6, 1986 (including U.S. citizen employees) has proper employment authorization and that each employee's identity is consistent with the person's employment authorization documents. In order to comply, employers are required to complete an Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 and to require new hires to present either (i) a Form I-9 List A document to establish both employment eligibility and identity; or (ii) separate documents from Form I-9 Lists B and C to establish their employment eligibility and identity respectively.
The complaint filed by the Justice Department alleges that John Jay College imposed different or greater employment eligibility verification standards on non-citizens as compared to U.S. citizens and, in one instance, required that an employee who produced an unrestricted Social Security card and driver's license to also produce her permanent residence card. Federal law prohibits employers, both private and public, from imposing different or greater employment eligibility verification stands on non-citizens as compared to U.S. citizens.
All employers should remember that they may not specify which documents they prefer to see regarding the I-9 process, and as long as the documents presented enable the employer to complete the I-9 form, the employer must accept the documents if they meet the Form I-9 standards.© 2013 Dinsmore & Shohl LLP. All rights reserved.