Sample Contract Language
Workers can use the language of the contact to get some protection in case of loss of work permit.
Verification and Reverification of Work Authorization: The employer will not require or demand proof of immigration status, except as may be required by 8 U.S.C. 1324a(b) and listed on the back of the I-9 form. Further, the employer will not require that an employee reverify his or her authorization to work unless the employer obtains actual or constructive knowledge that the employee is not authorized to work in the United States. “Actual or constructive knowledge” means such knowledge that would subject the employer to liability under the “employer sanctions” provisions of the immigration laws, 8 U.S.C. 1324a. Further, the employer will not require employees engaged in “continuing employment” to provide proof of work authorization, including Social Security numbers.
“Reverification” means requesting that an employee show documents that purport to prove their authorization to work in the United States and includes a request to provide proof of a valid Social Security number. In the event that the employer determines it has the requisite “actual or constructive knowledge” that requires it to reverify an employee’s authorization to work, the employer will:
Prior to notifying the employee, notify the union and provide the union with the factual basis for that determination.
Afford the employee a reasonable period of time of not less than 120 days to establish work authorization.
Not take any adverse employment action against the employee unless the employer has complied with 1. and 2. above and is required to do so by law.
Transfer of I-9 Forms: No employee shall be required to reverify status in circumstances constituting “continuing employment.” In the event of a sale of the business or its assets, or other business reorganization that transfers the employees to a different entity, the employer shall transfer the I-9 forms of its employees to the new employer, and shall condition such sale on the successor employer’s written agreement to use transferred I-9 forms to satisfy obligations with respect to I-9 forms. [This obligation also should be incorporated specifically into the owner and operator’s successorship obligations.]
Inquiries into Immigration Status: The employer will not ask any employee, either orally or in writing, to respond to questions or provide documentation of immigration status, except as required by law. If the employer determines that such a request is required by law, the employer will provide the employee(s) and the union a detailed explanation for the request, in writing, citing the factual and legal basis for the request. The union will have two weeks to reply to the request. The employee will not be required to respond to questions or provide the requested documentation while the union and the employer attempt to resolve a dispute under this section.
Employer Participation in Electronic Verification: The employer will not participate in E-Verify or any computer or online verification of immigration or work authorization status, except as required by law.
Workers have power in unity: In a workplace without a union, workers can inform employers as a group that reverification is not required by law, and in fact presents real legal risks. Workers can remind their employer that it is unlawful to reverify on a discriminatory or retaliatory basis, and that the employer cannot demand specific documents to complete the I-9 process as this would constitute document abuse.