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Other Employment Issues

What is the Immigration Reform and Control Act and must my business comply with it?

  • The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) makes it unlawful for an employer to hire any person who is not legally authorized to work in the United States, and it requires employers to verify the employment eligibility of all new employees.
  • IRCA also prohibits discrimination in hiring and discharge based on national origin (as does Title VII) and on citizenship status. IRCA's anti-discrimination provisions are intended to prevent employers from attempting to comply with the Act's work authorization requirements by discriminating against foreign-looking or foreign-sounding job applicants.
  • IRCA's anti-discrimination provisions apply to smaller employers than those covered by EEOC-enforced laws.
  • IRCA's national origin discrimination provisions apply to employers with between 4 and 14 employees (who would not be covered by Title VII).
  • IRCA's citizenship discrimination provisions apply to all employers with at least 4 employees.
  • IRCA is enforced by the U.S. Department of Justice. For information on IRCA's anti-discrimination provisions, contact:

    United States Department of Justice
    Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related
    Unfair Employment Practices
    (800) 255-8155 (employer hotline/voice)
    (800) 237-2515 (TDD)

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?