Who is Eligible for a Right to Work Check?

Learn who is eligible for a right to work check in the US, what documents are accepted as proof of identity and permission to work, how to file a complaint with IER, how to report violations without filing a complaint, and more.

Who is Eligible for a Right to Work Check?

Our right to work controls involve confirming the candidate's visa and passport status with the relevant immigration authorities. Documents that establish identity and employment eligibility come from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in the United States. Anyone 18 years of age or older in the US can use Self Check to confirm employment eligibility. After entering the requested information, Self Check compares it with government records available in the US.

The DHS and the Social Security Administration are used to confirm eligibility to work in the US. If falsified, falsified or altered documents are used to prove identity or authorization to work, fines and even jail time can be imposed. For workers aged 16 and younger, the USCIS considers a school report card, a daycare record, or a hospital record (such as a birth certificate) acceptable as proof of identity. The Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER) of the Civil Rights Division of the US Department of Justice enforces the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

This law protects people authorized to work from employment discrimination in hiring, firing, and hiring or referrals for a fee based on citizenship, immigration status, and national origin; from unfair documentary practices when verifying employees' employment eligibility (Form I-9 and E-Verify); and from retaliation. People who believe they have been discriminated against can file charges with the IER and may have the right to receive late payments and readmission, among other resources. The INA's anti-discrimination provision prohibits employers from discriminating against workers based on their citizenship, immigration status, or national origin. It also prohibits employers from requiring more or different documents than necessary to verify employment eligibility or from refusing to accept documents that appear genuine on their face.

To file a complaint with the IER, you must fill out an IER collection form available in several languages. Charges must be filed within 180 days of the alleged discrimination or retaliation. After receiving what it considers an accusation, IER will begin its investigation. If IER has not filed a complaint with an administrative law judge (ALJ) within 120 days of receiving the accusation, it will send a letter notifying the injured party or authorized representative of its right to file an administrative complaint against the defendant and indicate whether IER is continuing with the investigation.

The IER will also notify the defendant of its decision to continue with the investigation. You can also report a violation of the anti-discrimination provision without filing a complaint by calling one of IER's hotlines for workers or employers. Language services are available and free of charge. If you need help with immigration-related employment issues, contact IER staff for assistance.

Please note that IER cannot provide legal advice or individual legal representation. The Department of Homeland Security has designated several acceptable document combinations from which workers can choose to prove their identity and permission to work. Form I-9 contains lists of acceptable documents that fall into three categories: List A (which establishes their identity and permission to work), List B (which establishes identity), and List C (which establishes permission to work). Employers cannot specify what documents they will accept from a worker and should not prevent a person from working because of the document's future expiration date.

If you have questions about potential discriminatory practices related to verifying employment eligibility, contact IER for help. An IER staff member may also be available for your next live presentation. For media inquiries, contact IER's point of contact for media inquiries.