A recent federal trial court decision raises the interesting question of whether beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, who by definition are authorized to work in the U.S. for a specified period, are protected from employment discrimination based on their “alienage.”

In Rodriguez v. Procter & Gamble Co., Case No. 17-22652 (S.D. Fla. June 10, 2020), the court ruled that the company’s policy of rejecting applicants who had temporary work authorization under DACA was facially discriminatory and could be unlawful under 42 U.S.C.  § 1981.

The policy in question here, similar to that adopted by some other companies, was put in place as a means of ensuring that new hires would be legally authorized to work with no restraints on the type, duration, or location of employment (emphasis ours), and was carefully drafted to ensure that it did not violate the nondiscrimination provisions of the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA). IRCA does not protect certain nonimmigrant aliens (i.e., individuals authorized to work in the U.S. temporarily) from alienage discrimination

Members of the Center for Workplace Compliance (CWC) can read more here.