Know the Rights of Foreign Employees

With immigration to the U.S. on the rise in recent years, your workplace is generally more diverse. Immigrants can fill a lot of positions in your company at both the professional and semi-skilled levels.

Image of the United States with a map of the world overlayed on top of it

However, hiring foreign-born employees can present some complex issues and result in complaints to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) of illegal bias. In fact, EEOC and state officials say many workplace discrimination cases go unreported and they are urging victims to come forward.

It's a good idea to seek professional advice. In the meantime, here are a few things you should know:

Basically, immigrant employment issues are a lot easier to handle if you develop policies and standards that govern workplace behavior.

Schedule some training for your managers and supervisors. A little foresight can protect your workforce and save you a bundle in legal fees down the road.

Open a World of Possibilities

Companies incur stiff penalties when they knowingly hire someone who can't legally work in the U.S., so many overcompensate by refusing to hire anyone who looks or sounds "foreign." Federal regulators don't much care for that approach either.

Your best bet is to understand state and federal anti-discrimination laws. You'll not only stay out of trouble, but you'll gain access to qualified applicants that your competitors might not consider.

It's always a good idea to seek legal advice when considering non-U.S. citizens for employment, but here are a few pointers:

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