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Other Employment Issues

What are my obligations under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to ensure I avoid workplace discrimination?

  • The INA's citizenship status, unfair documentary practices, and retaliation provisions apply to employers with at least four employees.
  • The INA's national origin discrimination provisions apply to employers who have at least four employees and who would not be covered by Title VII (in other words, they have fewer than 15 employees). Title VII prohibits national origin discrimination in employment by employers with 15 or more employees.
  • The INA's anti-discrimination provision prevents employers from discriminating against foreign-looking or foreign-sounding job applicants.

The Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER) in the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division enforces the INA. For information on the INA's anti-discrimination provisions, including questions on how to properly complete the Form I-9 and E-Verify processes, you may call IER's free and anonymous hotline (9:00 am-5:00 pm ET, Monday-Friday) or visit IER's website. Calls can be anonymous and in any language:

(800) 255-8155
(employer hotline/voice)
1-800-237-2515 and 202-616-5525(TTY)

What about affirmative action?

Affirmative action may be required of your company as a condition of entering into a federal contract. The EEOC has no responsibilities for the administration of affirmative action requirements. Affirmative action requirements are administered by the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP).

Employers with federal contracts or subcontracts that want to know more about affirmative action requirements can visit OFCCP's web site.

Where can I find information about the Family and Medical Leave Act?

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is enforced by the U.S. Department of Labor. Information on this law may be found at

Complaints filed under the FMLA are handled by the Wage and Hour Division, Employment Standards Administration, U.S. Department of Labor.

What is the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act?

The Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act allows small businesses to comment about federal agency enforcement actions to an SBA Ombudsman. For information about this process and how to submit a comment, see Small Business and Agriculture Regulatory Enforcement National Ombudsman.

If you have a question or comment about an EEOC investigation, rule or policy, please let us know, and we will do our best to address your concern or provide assistance. It is EEOC policy to ensure that employers are not targeted for enforcement actions (such as an investigation) or otherwise penalized for contacting the EEOC or the SBA. The EEOC prohibits retaliation against small businesses because they commented to the SBA Ombudsman about EEOC regulatory or enforcement actions, requirements or policies.

What other federal agencies dealing with small businesses have web sites that can help me?