Court Upholds Dismissal of Suit Alleging Immigration-Based Discrimination In Hiring

On July 10, the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed a lower court’s decision that the 1866 Civil Rights Act, which, among other things, prohibits workplace discrimination based on citizenship or alienage, does not prohibit an employer from discriminating based on immigration status or work authorization.

In Resendiz v. Exxon Mobil Corp., the plaintiff, a DACA recipient, secured a paid internship at the defendant’s company only to see the offer abruptly withdrawn once the company learned he did not have permanent work authorization. The plaintiff argued that immigration status and work authorization are linked to citizenship and alienage, protected classes under the Civil Rights Act. Therefore discrimination based on these factors should also be prohibited. The Court of Appeals, however, ruled that DACA is not protected by the Act and that the employer may treat applicants differently based on their immigration status and work authorization. 

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Erickson Immigration Group will continue to share updates as more news is available. If you have questions about anything we’re reporting above or case-specific questions, please contact your employer or EIG attorney.