How Do Labor Laws Apply to Immigrants?

Document Date: January 29, 2009

Federal labor and employment laws generally apply to all employees regardless of an individuals' immigration status.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex or national origin. National origin discrimination includes less different or less favorable treatment of an individual because of his or her ancestry or country of birth, her physical, cultural or linguistic characteristics of a particular national origin group.

Other federal laws. Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, the National Labor Relations Act, OSHA, and Fair Labor Standards Act require employers not to discriminate on the basis of race, to comply with certain health, safety, and minimum ware requirements, and to allow employees to unionize. The Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution prohibits most kinds of employment discrimination on the basis of race and national origin at any level of state or local government.

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