Re: Illegal interview question

Subject: Re: Illegal interview question
From: "Jane S." <judydh -at- total -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 31 Oct 2000 10:50:26 -0500

I've had these two responses already. The authors seem rather edgey about
the issue.

I don't believe it's illegal, as *everyone* who is hired in the US,
including US citizens, must produce proof they are an American citizen on
their first day of work. This has been the case for about 10 years.

> Hey, I AM american and I get asked to show proof of ability to work. I
> always turn around and ask the interviewer if white candidates are asked
> work eligibility such as I am since I am Indian by birth, yet American by
> citizenship. If this is an illegal practice, what is the requirement of
> making people fill out a form that states your ability to work in the US
> then a copy of your passport or driver's license?
> Just wondering?

I'm sure it's meant to prevent discrimination. I would be very shocked (and
you should be too) if the States made it illegal for any citizen from any
particular country to obtain work in the US. This law is probably meant to
take that judgment call out of any individual's hands, "e.g., I won't hire
anyone but blue-blooded Americans!", something I assume that Sanjay, above,
has suspected at least once.

Of course, after you've landed the job, the employer has to provide proof
for the INS that everyone they employ is eligible to work in the United
States. I am absolutely sure that employers are required to check that you
are legally eligible to work in the States *prior* to hiring, at which point
you would normally discuss visas. IMHO, this question should come at the end
of the interview. That a company ask you for your passport or driver's
license is their own policy, and I think it would be equally imprudent to do
so until either all paperwork has gone through, or the first day you're on
the job, whichever comes first. When I worked in the States, the paperwork
was finished after I already started.

If the employer cannot afford to go through the cost or timely process of
sponsorship, they may say so in their job listings or in the negotiation
phase. Make it clear is it not discrimination based on citizenship,
unamericanness, whatever, but a cost issue. The whole point of the process
is to enforce that a company tries to get the best person for the job,
personality, credentials, experience and all. Sometimes that comes in a
different package than usual.


________________________________________________________ - Free the Web
Get your free Internet access at

Learn how to develop HTML-based Help with Macromedia Dreamweaver!
Dec. 7-8, 2000, Orlando, FL -- $100 discount for STC members. or 800-646-9989.

Your web site localized into 32 languages? Maybe not now, but sooner than
you think. Download ForeignExchange's FREE paper, "3 steps to successful
translation management" at

You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as: archive -at- raycomm -dot- com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-obscured -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Send administrative questions to ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

Previous by Author: Illegal interview question
Next by Author: RE: do I break into tech writing?
Previous by Thread: RE: Illegal interview question
Next by Thread: Re: Illegal interview question

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads