Employer Sanctions Definition: Decoding the law

The Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) imposed employer sanctions in 1986, in order to close the US job market to illegal immigrants. In simple terms, employer sanctions prohibit all US-based employers from intentionally recruiting or hiring unauthorized immigrants or undocumented workers. Any violations of the law will be subject to heavy penalties and fines to the employer and the worker. Prior to 1986, there was no law that prohibited the hiring of illegal immigrants.

Today, employers are required to exert great caution in the hiring process. Any unauthorized worker in the employer's workforce may attract severe fines, or even criminal charges, in cases of repeat offences. At the same time, they cannot discriminate against non-US citizens. Employers are now mandated by the IRCA to ensure that all job applicants have the necessary authorization to work in the United States, without discrimination or document abuse. Employers are also required to familiarize themselves with immigration laws, if they wish to avoid any employment penalties. The most obvious way that an employer can be penalized is by knowingly hiring an illegal immigrant. The best way to avoid these circumstances is by complying with certain employment verification procedures. Employers can also order driver records online, to check on the status of their employees.

But can unauthorized work stop with employer sanctions? Migration will continue to be an issue for people who seek refuge and come to the US, looking for work. People continue to immigrate to the US, as the alternative of poverty and war crimes in their home countries are far less appealing. Employer sanctions put the execution of immigration laws into the hands of employers. In the last few years, there has been a huge program of auditing I-9 forms across several companies in the US. In case of any mismatch in the documents, employers are required to immediately fire their unauthorized personnel. Employers are also required to check the E-Verify database, before hiring any worker, to ensure that they have the relevant authorization to work in the United States. But these databases have their own set of errors, sometimes affecting even legal migrants and citizens. I-9 audits, E-Verify and other databases are all approaches for enforcing employer sanctions law. Employers have also fired and blacklisted several employees, based on the information that they receive from these methods. Employer sanctions may also be linked to immigration raids in the US, where workers are interrogated and deported, if they lack the necessary documentation.

So, what are the implications of employer sanctions legislation in the United States? An argument that supports the sanctions indicates that since most illegal immigrants migrate for work, removing their employment opportunities will help to decrease immigration. Contrary to popular opinion, majority of research done in the US indicates that employer sanctions can be quite unsuccessful, and ultimately make workers more vulnerable. Though there are stringent employer sanctions in place, many industries in the US continue to depend on immigrant labor, as they are paid less and are considered to be vulnerable. In fact, undeterred by employer sanctions, they continue to hire immigrant workers, and pay them poorly, knowing that these workers may be afraid to report them, fearing deportation. Instead of creating better work conditions, employer sanctions can create a group of workers who have reduced rights.

As an employer, you will need to avoid such risks and ensure greater caution in your employment processes, by following federal laws without discrimination. If you want to check up on more details regarding employee eligibility, you can log onto www.4safedrivers.com for your options. If you need any further help with the process, you can contact their customer service representatives between Monday and Friday from 9am to 5pm at 1-877-753-6667.

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