Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
and
Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC)

Do You Know Where to Go?

There are several federal laws that protect job applicants and workers from employment discrimination. These laws are enforced by federal agencies that investigate discrimination.

People often do not know where to get help when they believe they have been the victim of discrimination because, depending on the type of discrimination or the size of the employer, different agencies may be involved.† This brochure will help you understand which agency to contact if you think you are a victim of discrimination.

Discrimination Based on National Origin

What is employment discrimination based on national origin?

Generally, this is when your employer treats you differently based on your country of birth or ancestry (actual or perceived), or in some circumstances, based on your accent or your ability to speak English.

One example of national origin discrimination is when employers hire only workers who are native English speakers regardless of whether an accent would interfere with job performance.

Which agency do I contact if I want to file a discrimination charge based on national origin?

If your employer has at least 15 employees in the entire company (not just in the location where you worked), you should file a charge with the EEOC. You can call 1-800-669-4000 or go online to www.eeoc.gov/field to find your local office.

If your employer has between 4 and 14 employees in the entire company, you should file a charge with OSC.† You can call OSCís hotline at 1-800-255-7688 to ask questions about your rights, or visit the OSC website at: www.justice.gov/crt/about/osc

Citizenship Status

What is employment discrimination based on citizenship status?

This is when your employer treats you differently because you are, or are not, a U.S. citizen, or because you are a certain class of immigrant.

One example of citizenship status discrimination is when employers only want to hire people who have H1-B visas.

Which agency do I contact if I want to file a discrimination charge based on citizenship status?

If your employer has at least 4 employees in the entire company, you should file a charge with OSC.

You can call OSCís hotline at 1-800-255-7688 to ask questions about your rights, or visit the OSC website at: www.justice.gov/crt/about/osc

Discrimination in the Form of I-9 or E-Verify Document Abuse

What is document abuse?

Document abuse is when an employer, when verifying employment eligibility, requests more or different documents than federal law requires, rejects valid documents, or asks for specific documents based on the workerís citizenship status or national origin.† Document abuse may also occur if your employer discriminates against you when using E-Verify.

One example of document abuse is if you choose to show a driverís license and Social Security card when hired, but your employer also asks to see your Permanent Resident Card (green card).†

Which agency do I contact if I want to file a discrimination charge based on document abuse?

If your employer has at least 4 employees in the entire company, you should file a charge with OSC. You can call OSCís hotline at 1-800-255-7688 to ask questions about your rights, or visit the OSC website at: www.justice.gov/crt/about/osc

You Have Additional Protections!

Under various federal laws, you are also protected from employment discrimination based on race, color, sex, disability, religion, age (over 40 years), and genetic information (which includes family medical history).†

If your employer has at least 15 employees[1] in the entire company (not just in the location where you worked), you should file a charge with the EEOC.† You can call 1-800-669-4000 or go online to www.eeoc.gov/field to find your local office.

Some states also have laws that protect applicants and employees against discrimination based on race, color, sex, disability, religion, age (over and under 40 years), sexual orientation, citizenship status, national origin, and family status, among other bases.† These laws may cover employers with fewer than 15 employees.†

In some places, you can contact 311 for information on your local human rights or fair employment practices agency that enforces anti-discrimination laws. You can also try searching online for information about these agencies.

Time Limits

If you think you are a victim of employment discrimination, it is important that you ask for help immediately because there is a limited period of time in which you can file a charge.† Some laws require you to file a charge within 180 days, and you will lose your rights if you wait!

For questions about your employment rights, you may call the OSC hotline at 1-800-255-7688. †The hotline is available 9am to 5pm Eastern Time, Monday Ė Friday and you will receive immediate assistance. Your call can be anonymous if you choose. Language interpretation is also available.

 

You may also call the EEOC at 1-800-669-4000. It is available 7am to 8pm Eastern Time, Monday-Friday.† Language interpretation is also available.†

If you are not certain which agency to call, please call either number above and we will make sure you are directed to the proper agency for help.


[1] For age discrimination, your employer must have at least 20 employees in the entire company.