In January 2017, Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER) was the name given to what was previously called the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices. This office is contained in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. It protects certain people in the United States from discrimination in the workplace based upon their immigration status or citizenship.
When a person believes that they have been a victim of such discrimination, they should file a complaint with the IER within 180 days of the alleged incident. When a complaint cannot be resolved in an informal manner, it will go to trial before an Administrative Law Judge within the DOJ’s Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO).
Once a complaint is filed and an investigation has determined that there is enough evidence to proceed with a charge, parties will be notified and a pre-trial held. When the complaint is found to be accurate, civil penalties may be issued. The victim may be ordered to receive back pay. The IER can also initiate other investigations based upon information discovered during the investigation of the original complaint.
If you or a loved one are dealing with discrimination in the workplace due to your citizenship status, you have rights. It is important to understand that immigrants have protection. Reach out to an attorney experienced in immigration law for assistance with your issue. An attorney can review what is happening and advise you of the appropriate steps to take.