Did you know that you are protected by federal employment discrimination laws from being discriminated against by private employers based on protected categories, including, but not limited to, national origin, religion, color, sex, and race? Yes, you should never stand for any sort of discrimination.

Many states, including our very own New York, have their own anti-discrimination laws. While most expand on the protections of the federal law at the state level, some mirror it. One of these federal laws is the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA). Read on to learn more…


Private employers are prohibited from discriminating against an individual (in the case of protected persons) based on citizenship status or national origin when it comes to recruitment, hiring, being discharged from employment, or referral for a fee. Thus, you may want to speak to an attorney if you are authorized to work in the U.S. but believe that you have been discriminated against because of your citizenship status or national origin.

However, this does not apply to authorized alien(s). In fact, employers are prohibited by IRCA from knowingly recruiting, hiring, or referring for a fee any alien who is not authorized to work within the jurisdiction of the United States.


Nonetheless, IRCA also prohibits any individual from retaliation against, coercing, threatening, or intimidating another person (i) because the latter intends to file or has filed a complaint or charge, participated, assisted, or testified in any manner in a hearing, proceeding, or investigation under IRCA, or (ii) with the intention to interfere with any privilege or right secured under the law. Accordingly, you should not stand up for any form of retaliation if you have or intend to participate in an activity to protect your rights or that of someone else in regard to discrimination under IRCA.

As mentioned earlier, many states have their own anti-discrimination laws. For instance, discriminating against a person based on his/her citizenship status or national origin, as enjoined under IRCA, is prohibited under the New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL). Specifically, the NYSHRL prohibits an employer or any person from:

  1. Discriminating against you in compensation, hiring, firing, or in the privileges, terms, or conditions of employment based on your national origin;
  2. Making an inquiry in relation to prospective employment, using an employment application, or circulating or printing an advertisement or statement that expresses discrimination or a limitation, or specification as to national origin;
  • Discriminating against you in a guidance program, an executive training program, an on-the-job training program, an apprenticeship training program, or any other retraining or occupational training program based on your national origin. Here, it is crucial to note that an individual should also not deny or withhold your right to participate or be admitted in such program(s), or be selected for such program(s) based on any other basis other than your qualifications or make an inquiry in relation with such program(s), use an application for, or circulating or printing an advertisement or statement that expresses discrimination or a limitation, or specification, or even discriminate against you in your pursuit of, or the privileges, conditions, or terms of such program(s).

Another key thing to note is that the NYSHRL prohibits the harassment of persons based on their national origin. Moreover, the law also enjoins any attempts to or even coerce, compel, incite, abet, or aid any acts it prohibits.

Finally, the NYSHRL prohibits an employer from retaliating against an employee who assists or testifies in an NYSHRL proceeding, files a complaint or charge under it, or opposes discriminatory practices prohibited under it.

The law is there to protect you from all angles and ensure that you are protected from the adverse effects of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation, particularly when it comes to employment. You should, therefore, speak to a Discrimination Law Attorney and Employment & Labor Law Attorney to assist you in evaluating whether you have a discrimination claim under IRCA and the way forward to seek relief and damages for the adverse actions taken against you by your employer.

Contact our office at (314) 648-2586 to learn more. We have a wide array of specialties to encompass all angles of the business world and protect our clients at all costs.

Still, as we continue dropping knowledge bombs every day, stay tuned for more educative, inspiring, and interesting posts. In the interim, if you have any questions or comments, please reach out to us through our Website and let us know at the Contact Us page!

Always rising above the bar,

Isaac T.,

Legal Writer, Author, & Publisher.