California’s Protecting Immigrant Worker Protection Act (AB-450)
By: Layli Eskandari Deal
On October 5, 2017 Governor Brown signed AB-450 into law further taking California into the federal immigration landscape. The new State law took effect on January 1, 2018.
Here are some key elements:
- Employers no longer can voluntarily grant access to nonpublic areas of the company to any immigration enforcement agent. Access can only be granted when presented with a judicial warrant.
- The new law does not restrict Department of Homeland Security from providing a Notice of Inspection (NOI) to an employer demanding the employer’s I-9 forms within 3 days of service. The employer must honor the NOI.
- If a NOI is received, the employer must post a notice at the worksite, in the language the employer normally uses to communicate information with employees, within 72 hours of receipt. The notice must communicate the following:
- [Name of Issuing authority] has issued a Notice of Inspection and will be conducting an inspection of Employee Form I-9s or other employment records;
- Date of receipt of NOI
- The “nature of the inspection” – to the extent known by the employer.
- Give notice to the “employee’s authorized representative” (any collective bargaining representative), if any, within 72 hours of the receipt of the NOI.
- Provide a copy of the NOI to any “affected employee” upon reasonable request.
- Notify “affected employees” within 72 hours of the agency’s inspection results as well as written notice of the obligations of the employer and employee arising from the inspection.
- Employers are prohibited from reverifying the employment eligibility of any current employee at a time or manner not required by law or that would violate employer’s E-Verify Memorandum of Understanding.
- Penalties: First offense – $2,000 -$5,000 / each subsequent offense – $5,000-$10,000.
We expect that the Department of Homeland Security will conduct more inspections this year. It would be beneficial for California employers to have policies in place to handle these situations if they should arise.
For additional information related to this topic and for advice regarding how to navigate U.S. immigration laws you may contact Layli Eskandari Deal of the law firm of Freeman Mathis & Gary, LLP at (770-551-2700) or LDEAL@fmglaw.com.