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Your rights on the job

At work you have certain rights. You can protect yourself from immigration officials coming to your workplace and from employers who may abuse or not know the law.

Immigration agents or the police need a valid warrant or the permission of your employer to enter your workplace. Even if they have a valid warrant, you are not required to answer their questions. If immigration agents or the police are questioning you and you wish to remain silent, you should say aloud that you wish to remain silent or show the officials your Know Your Rights card.

E-Verify and your rights at work

E-Verify is an internet-based system that quickly tells your boss if you are authorized to work in the U.S. It compares information from an employee's I-9 Form against data from the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration to confirm employment eligibility. More and more employers are required to use this system in many states.

You have the right to refuse to sign any document.

You are not obligated to sign anything from immigration or from your employer. You have the right to understand anything they give you or ask you to sign.

Keep in mind:

  • An employer should only ask you for your documents once they offer you a job, not before.
  • If you are authorized to work but your employer says that your documents do not match, you can appeal. You have eight business days to appeal to the Social Security Administration. The employer cannot fire you while you are appealing. You should also correct your records with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
  • If your employer refuses to accept your documents even though they match or asks you to produce more documents than required, contact a lawyer.

None of the information in this resource should be considered legal advice. Please speak to an immigration attorney or Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) accredited representative about your particular case.