I was recently approved for DACA and work authorization. I am concerned because when I began working with my employer, I used a false name and Social Security Number on my application and new employee documentation. I have worked with this false information for a number of years. Should I tell my employer my real name and Social Security Number? I’m afraid my employer will lose trust in me and then maybe fire me.
You are describing a frequent challenge for people who received Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and an employment authorization document, often referred to as a work permit: They have used false documents to get their job, and are now unsure what the effect of revealing this to their employer will be.
What happens next depends largely on your employer. If you provided a false name and Social Security Number when you were hired, your employer may have the right to fire you, if it wishes to do so. According to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Employer Handbook, even if you gave your employer a false identity when hired, the employer is not required to fire you. However, the handbook does state that the employer can follow its own policy in making a decision about your employment as long as it has enforced the policy consistently for all workers (Handbook for Employers (M-274) Rev. 04/30/2013 N page 25).
For example, most employers have a policy addressing dishonesty in the workplace. Under this policy, an employer could decide to fire an employee who provides a new name and Social Security Number because the employee was previously dishonest.
Before deciding on a course of action, take a look at your employer’s written employee policies (your employment handbook, if you received one). Find out what policies could relate to dishonesty in the workplace. If your employer does have policies related to dishonesty, it is possible that it may fire you if you attempt to update your name and Social.
You may also have additional rights depending on what state you live in, so it would be helpful to check to see whether your state provides protection for updating your name and Social Security Number with your employer (For the law in California, for example, see Cal. Lab. Code § 1024.6.)
Keep in mind that USCIS will not notify your employer that you have received a new work permit, so the employer will most likely find out about it only if you inform it of the change.
Although things may not work out with your current employer, the good news is that if you have been approved for DACA and a work permit, you can now legally work in the U.S. and can find new employment.