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Department of Justice
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, February 2, 2015

Justice Department Warns Employers Not to Discriminate Against Salvadoran Workers with Temporary Protected Status in Newly-Released Video

The Justice Department announced today the launch of an educational video reminding employers that Salvadorans with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) may continue working beyond the March 9, 2015, expiration date of their employment authorization documents.  The Justice Department also cautions employers that requesting additional work-authorization documents from these workers may violate anti-discrimination law.

Released by the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC), the video explains that the Department of Homeland Security automatically extended the validity of employment authorization documents for Salvadorans with TPS for an additional six months.  Requesting additional work-authorization documents from these employees may violate the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act.  This provision prohibits employers from making additional and unauthorized documentary demands because of an employee’s citizenship status, immigration status or national origin when verifying or re-verifying an employee’s employment eligibility. 

The newly released video may be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9B3RKCX6dkM.

“We hope this video will prevent discrimination against work-authorized immigrants and help employers across the country understand employment eligibility verification rules,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta of the Civil Rights Division.  “Federal law prohibits discrimination in the employment eligibility verification process, and the Justice Department is committed to enforcing the law.”

TPS is a temporary immigration benefit that allows qualified individuals from designated countries who are in the United States to stay and work for a limited period of time.  A foreign country is designated for TPS due to conditions in the country that temporarily prevent the country’s nationals from returning safely, such as on-going armed conflict, environmental disasters or other extraordinary and temporary conditions in the designated country.  Individuals with TPS can obtain employment authorization documents to work legally in the United States.  The Department of Homeland Security has automatically extended employment authorization documents for individuals with TPS from El Salvador until Sept. 9, 2015. 

The Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) within the Justice Department is responsible for enforcing the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act.  Among other things, the statute prohibits citizenship status and national origin discrimination in hiring, firing, and recruitment or referral for a fee; unfair documentary practices; retaliation; and intimidation. 

For more information about protections against employment discrimination under immigration laws, call OSC’s worker hotline at 1-800-255-7688 (1-800-237-2515, TTY for hearing impaired), call OSC’s employer hotline at 1-800-255-8155 (1-800-237-2515, TTY for hearing impaired), sign up for a free webinar at www.justice.gov/crt/about/osc/webinars.php, email osccrt@usdoj.gov or visit OSC’s website at www.justice.gov/crt/about/osc.   

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Updated August 27, 2015