The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) is a law that the government created to prevent racial- and citizenship-based discrimination in the workplace when it comes to employment. If you run a company that is constantly hiring new employees, you’ll want to look through this guide on what employers need to know about IRCA compliance. That way, you can ensure that your hiring team doesn’t break any laws when selecting new employees.
What Classifies as Breaking IRCA
When putting together a job description, you can’t say that you’re looking for a candidate that is a US citizen. This is the main thing that IRCA is supposed to prevent. If a person, regardless of citizenship, has the right to work within the United States, you can’t legally refuse to hire them solely because they aren’t a citizen.
This also applies to nationalities. Whether a potential employee is a US citizen or not, you cannot deny them the right to work for you based on which country they originate from. This section of the IRCA goes hand in hand with the previous one, but its goal is to prevent racism in the workplace.
What You Should Do To Avoid Issues
The best way to stop your company from disobeying IRCA is to train your hiring team to not discriminate against those who aren’t from this country. Of course, they shouldn’t discriminate against any marginalized groups, but for our purposes today, we’re just going to focus on nationality and citizenship. If you have any employees who refuse, it will be better for you to replace them to protect your company from possible penalties.
The other thing you should do is complete an I-9 form for all new hires. This will ensure that everyone at your company is legally allowed to work there. Obviously, if you own a large company, it can be tedious to go through all the paperwork necessary for this process. Fortunately, you can use e-verify compliance programs to do all your I-9 verifications online, making the process much faster and easier.
What Happens If You Fail To Follow IRCA
While we’re sure you won’t willfully break these guidelines, an important part of what employers need to know about IRCA compliance is the penalties that they can incur for breaking them. Most of these penalties include hefty fines, but in some cases, you can get barred from working on government contracts for an allotted amount of time. Depending on your company, that could be a huge blow.
It’s important to note that on top of getting fined for proven cases of discrimination, you can also get penalized for hiring unauthorized workers or even messing up any of the paperwork involved in the process. Fines aren’t too bad in most cases, but they increase with repeated infractions. In the case of incorrectly filling out forms, this is where our e-verify program would be quite valuable. Nothing is worse than getting fined for a simple mistake.