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Employment law

employment eligibility verification (Form I-9)

Employers use Form I-9 to verify the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States. All U.S. employers must properly complete Form I-9 for each individual they hire for employment in the United States. This includes citizens and noncitizens. Both employees and employers (or authorized representatives of the employer) must complete the form.

On the form, an employee must attest to his or her employment authorization. The employee must also present his or her employer with acceptable documents evidencing identity and employment authorization. The employer must examine the employment eligibility and identity documents an employee presents to determine whether the documents reasonably appear to be genuine and to relate to the employee—and then record the document information on the Form I-9.

The list of acceptable documents can be found on the last page of the form. Employers must retain Form I-9 for a designated period and make it available for inspection by authorized government officers.

In Texas, as in all other states, employers are required to follow federal law regarding the use of Form I-9 to verify the identity and employment authorization of every individual they hire for employment in the United States, which includes both citizens and noncitizens. The process mandates that employees provide documentation that proves their identity and eligibility to work, which the employer must review to ensure the documents are authentic and correspond to the individual presenting them. The employer must then record the relevant information from these documents onto Form I-9. The list of documents that are acceptable for this purpose is provided with the form itself. Employers are obligated to keep completed forms on file for a certain period of time and must present them for inspection if requested by authorized officials from agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Labor, or the Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER). It's important to note that while the form is federally mandated, there may be additional state-specific regulations regarding employment verification that employers must also adhere to.


Texas Statutes & Rules

Texas Labor Code, Section 21.051 - Discrimination by Employer
This statute is relevant as it outlines the unlawful employment practices regarding discrimination, which can include issues related to the verification of employment authorization.

Under the Texas Labor Code, Section 21.051, an employer commits an unlawful employment practice if because of race, color, disability, religion, sex, national origin, or age, the employer fails or refuses to hire an individual, discharges an individual, or discriminates in any other manner against an individual in connection with compensation or the terms, conditions, or privileges of employment. Employers must ensure that their Form I-9 processes do not result in discriminatory practices against employees based on these protected characteristics.

Texas Labor Code, Section 21.061 - Discrimination on the Basis of Citizenship
This statute is relevant as it addresses discrimination based on citizenship status, which is pertinent to the Form I-9 process.

Texas Labor Code, Section 21.061, prohibits employers from discriminating against an individual based on the individual's citizenship status. This is particularly important in the context of Form I-9, as employers must not discriminate against employees who present valid work authorization documents. Employers must treat all individuals equally when examining and verifying employment eligibility and identity documents for Form I-9 purposes.

Texas Government Code, Section 656.002 - Employment of Illegal Aliens
This statute is relevant as it pertains to the employment of individuals not authorized to work in the United States, which is what Form I-9 seeks to prevent.

According to Texas Government Code, Section 656.002, a state agency or political subdivision may not knowingly employ an individual who is not authorized to work in the United States. Proper completion and retention of Form I-9 for each employee help ensure that employers are in compliance with this statute by verifying the work authorization of their employees.

Texas Government Code, Section 656.051 - Verification of Employment Authorization
This statute is relevant as it mandates state agencies and political subdivisions to verify the employment authorization of employees, which is facilitated by the Form I-9.

Texas Government Code, Section 656.051 requires state agencies and political subdivisions to register with and participate in the federal electronic verification of work authorization program (E-Verify) to verify information of all new employees. While this is a federal program, the state statute emphasizes the importance of verifying employment authorization, which is also the purpose of Form I-9.

Federal Statutes & Rules

Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA), 8 U.S.C. § 1324a
This statute establishes the requirements for employment verification, including the use of Form I-9.

The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) prohibits employers from hiring and employing an individual for employment in the United States knowing that the individual is not authorized with respect to such employment. Employers are required to verify the identity and employment eligibility of all individuals hired for employment in the United States using the Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9. Under IRCA, employers are mandated to: - Ensure that employees complete Section 1 of Form I-9 at the time of hire. - Examine acceptable documents provided by the employee that establish identity and employment authorization within three business days of the employee's first day of employment. - Complete Section 2 of Form I-9 and sign it to attest to the examination of the documents. - Retain Form I-9 for a specific period after the employee begins work or after employment is terminated (three years after the date of hire or one year after the date employment ends, whichever is later). - Present the forms for inspection upon request by authorized officials of the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Labor, or Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices.

Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), as amended by IRCA, 8 U.S.C. § 1324b
This statute addresses anti-discrimination provisions related to the employment eligibility verification process.

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), as amended by the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, includes provisions that prohibit certain discriminatory practices in the employment eligibility verification process. Specifically, the act prohibits: - Citizenship status discrimination in hiring, firing, or recruitment or referral for a fee. - National origin discrimination in hiring, firing, or recruitment or referral for a fee, by employers with more than three and fewer than fifteen employees. - Unfair documentary practices during the employment eligibility verification process (document abuse). - Retaliation or intimidation against individuals who file charges with the Department of Justice, cooperate with an investigation, or assert their rights under the INA. Employers are required to treat all individuals equally when recruiting, hiring, or terminating employees, without regard to their citizenship or immigration status, or national origin, and must not demand more or different documents than are legally acceptable for Form I-9 purposes.