We’ve blogged about professional language interpreting services and legal translation in the context of national origin discrimination of foreign language speakers. According to various Equal Opportunity employment laws, it is illegal for an employer to base an employment decision on the prospective employee’s citizenship, birthplace or national origin. However, other federal and immigration laws require an employer to verify citizenship. Thus, a compliance Catch-22 arises.
For example, questions of the birthplace of the applicant or his/ her family are generally prohibited as are questions regarding citizenship. However, the Immigration Reform and Control Act requires employers to verify the identity and eligibility for employment of all employees. But, because such inquiries may raise claims of alienage discrimination, to remain compliant with both laws inquiries should be made after the employment decision has been made. Further, in order to remain compliant with federal law, all hired employees are required to verify identity and their eligibility to work in the U.S.
Often times these inquiries will have to be made with a foreign language translation or through a foreign language interpretation. For example, all documents signed by the employee stating his/ her citizenship must be understood by the employee and thus should be provided with a foreign language translation into the employee’s language.
To read our legal interpretation and legal translation blog entry “Legal Translation, Online Translation Services, Legal Language Services, and U.S. Employment of Foreign Workers,” click here.