Many undocumented DACAmented students wonder-do I need to discuss my immigration status with my employer? Easy Answer – No. This choice is always what you make and I recommend you make a comfortable choice. As with any area of life, disclosure in the workplace carries risks and benefits. Here’s some information that may help you understand your rights and whether you want to consider disclosure in the workplace.
First, consider the hiring process.
For DACA recipients: DACA recipients do not need to tell their employers that they are licensed to work through DACA, and employers do not need to ask job seekers or employees about their immigration status. period.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean the end of the conversation. DACA recipients may face discrimination due to their status, or their employer may not understand the processes and paperwork involved. Knowing what your employer can / cannot ask you and your rights to what the hiring process is will help you defend yourself without requiring you to disclose your DACA status. (Unless you choose to do so).
Some important things to know about DACA and employment:
- DACA recipients with the current Unexpired Employment Permit Document (EAD) are allowed paid employment.
- When asked “Are you eligible for employment” while filling out the application – if you have DACA, the answer is yes.
- When an offer for employment is made, the employer asks all new employees to fill out a form called I-9. I-9 includes submitting a document confirming the identity of the employee and his right to work in the United States. Your work permit meets the I-9 document requirements and your employer does not need to know how or why you received a work permit.
If you are an undocumented individual: Your employer may be legally required to reject your application. However, this does not mean that there are no options at all.
When filling out the application, your employer may ask you about your eligibility to work in the United States. If this question is not required, you can choose to leave it blank. If required, you can select Other to answer the question again when the offer is being made.
If you are in the interview stage, do not reveal your status early. First, focus on selling yourself and your skills. If your employer is surprised at you and extends your offer, you may choose to discuss another option.
- If you are in an internship position, you can ask for an internship unpaid. This allows you to gain experience while looking for other possible payment options. For example, some schools and organizations have funding for students accepting unpaid internships. Organizations cannot inquire about employment eligibility in the same way that employers require.
- If you are looking for a full-time employment, you may consider talking to your employer about hiring you as an independent contractor. This allows you to receive payments by other (and legal) means.
When discussing alternative options and DACA-related eligibility with your employer, be aware that you do not need to share more information with your employer than you are comfortable with.
However, if you decide to address disclosure or request for alternative employment options, we recommend that you prepare for the conversation as you would for an interview. Plan approaches and answers to potentially difficult questions. Determine exactly what you are comfortable with and what you are not comfortable with. Then when the time comes, you’ll be ready.
Once you are hired for a position, your colleagues, supervisors, and other leaders are not allowed to ask you about your immigration status. Even if you feel the environment and your colleagues are safe and trustworthy, weigh the pros and cons of disclosing your status.
The important thing is that you can control whether you disclose it or not.
Workplace Disclosure and Your Rights – UConn Center for Career Development
https://career.uconn.edu/blog/2021/09/22/disclosure-your-rights-in-the-workplace/ Workplace Disclosure and Your Rights – UConn Center for Career Development