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California Governor Signs Bill Restricting “ICE” Access to Worksites

Posted in Employee Privacy Rights, Labor Law, New Legislation and Regulations, Wage & Hour

On October 5, 2017, California Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 450 into law.  This bill requires a warrant for employers to allow immigration enforcement agents to enter a worksite.

Background

Current law prohibits employers or individuals from engaging in an unfair immigration-related practice.  Existing law provides a substantial number of unfair immigration practices.

Summary of New Law

This bill prohibits public and private employers from granting voluntary consent to an immigration enforcement agent to enter nonpublic areas of a workplace unless the agent has a warrant.  Additionally, employers may not grant immigration enforcement agents consent to access, review, or obtain employee records without a subpoena or court order.  Employers are further required to provide notice to employees of an I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification inspection within 72 hours of receiving notice of inspection.  The notice must contain: 1) the name of the immigration agency conducting the inspection, 2) the date the employer received notice of the inspection, 3) the nature of the inspection, if known, and 4) a copy of the Notice of Inspection of I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification forms.  The Labor Commissioner will develop a template for employers to use to comply with this notice requirement by July 1, 2018.

This law may only be enforced by California Labor Commissioner or Attorney General.  The penalties for failure to follow the above prohibitions are $2,000 to $5,000 for a first violation and $5,000 to $10,000 for each subsequent violation.

California Employers Should

  • Train all managers, supervisors, and human resources department to ensure they are aware of the warrant, subpoena, and notice requirements imposed by the new law.
  • Ensure that proper notice is posted if a Notice of Inspection is received by the employer.
  • Keep a look out on the Labor Commissioner’s website for a notice form in the coming year. Until that time, employers must make their own notice and provide the required information.

Our Labor & Employment attorneys have extensive experience counseling and defending employers in all areas of employment law and are happy to assist employers in training, handbook revisions, and further compliance with this new law.  Please feel free to contact any of our Labor & Employment attorneys.