Iowa Aliens and Immigration laws & HR compliance analysis

Iowa Aliens and Immigration: What you need to know

The Iowa Civil Rights Act prohibits employment practices that discriminate based on national origin. Practices that discriminate against immigrants legally eligible to work may constitute national origin bias within the meaning of the Act.
The Act applies to employers with four or more employees (IA Code Sec. 216.6).
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Preemployment Inquiries. Citizenship requirements that are made a condition of employment discriminate based on national origin in violation of the state law. Inquiries about a person's citizenship or country of birth are unlawful and imply discrimination based on national origin.
The Iowa Civil Rights Commission enforces the Civil Rights Act. The Commission has the authority to receive complaints, issue administrative decisions, and bring lawsuits in state court on behalf of alleged victims of discrimination (IA Code Sec. 216.5).
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The federal Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) requires employers to verify the legal status and right to work of all new hires. To satisfy verification requirements, employers should ask all new hires for documents establishing both identity and work authorization.
IRCA and all subsequent amendments regulate the employment status of immigrants.
Preemption of state laws. IRCA provisions “preempt any state or local law imposing civil or criminal sanctions (other than through licensing and similar laws) upon those who employ or recruit or refer for a fee for employment unauthorized” immigrants (8 USC Sec. 1324a(h)(2)).
There is an exception for state laws providing that a license can be ...

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