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How HR can protect their Employer from Hiring Illegal Workers

HR professionals are often tasked with determining whether someone is legally able to work in Canada or not. This can be a tricky task.  Simply asking the question to the individual and taking their word as gospel may not be wise. For more information on this, check out my latest article for the HRMAM here (please note that a login may be required to access this article).

It is the responsibility of employers to ensure that all employees working for them are doing so legally.  Employer who do not take proper measures to ensure that this is so are considered to be guilty until proven innocent – the burden of proof is on them under immigration law, and severe penalties may result.

In order for employers to prove that they are not at fault for employing someone illegally, they must be able to demonstrate how they exercised due diligence in determining whether the employee is legally entitled to work in Canada.  If an employer has exercised due diligence, it may be determined that the employer is not at fault.



About Reis Pagtakhan

Reis Pagtakhan is an immigration law partner with MLT Aikins LLP. His extensive experience includes assisting businesses obtain temporary entry to Canada and permanent residency for their executives, employees and contractors from all over the world. Reis has lectured on and written papers on immigration law for the Law Society of Manitoba, the Manitoba Bar Association, the Human Resources Management Association of Manitoba, the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association, and the Community Legal Education Association of Manitoba. He has presented position papers before the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Immigration Department officials and Manitoba Labour and Immigration. He has written articles on immigration for the CBC, the Winnipeg Free Press, trade, industry and ethnic publications.


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