Being in Human Resources today is no “bed of roses.” (For my non-English speaking readers, this idiom means “a comfortable situation”. Though I have often wondered since roses also have thorns.) Anyway, I digress. The fact is that being in HR is tough, especially for the compliance side of the house. Part of this difficulty comes from the contradictory messages the Federal government puts out. On the one hand we have laws that prohibit illegal, or in today’s parlance “undocumented”, aliens from holding jobs in the United States. This the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act for those of you unsure. This law created that form, the I-9, that so many companies screw up on. In addition to that, we have a whole set of laws designed to deal with businesses that do business with the government, aka Federal Contractors, that prohibit any use of illegal labor. These regulations require that federal contractors even verify legal status by using the E-verify system. So you would think the Federal government would be dead set against ANY promotion of illegal workers.
Yet, in this video, U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, announces that even if you are “undocumented” you are to be afforded protection of US laws. Some groups are saying she is violating the law. I don’t think that technically correct, but the message certainly is contradictory to what other aspects of the Federal Government (USCIS) and the OFCCP (which is part of DOL) say to employers.
By the way, I dicussed the We Can Help site that this video appears on back on April 6th, when I discussed US Department of Labor: It’s War! And Employers Are The Enemy . This video shows definatively that We Can Help is not an employer friendly program.