New California Law Will Limit Immigration Enforcement Agents' Access to Workplaces, Records
Author: Michael Cardman, XpertHR Legal Editor
October 9, 2017
Employers in California will soon face several new requirements involving workplace inspections by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Effective January 1, 2018, the Immigrant Worker Protection Act will prohibit employers in California from voluntarily consenting to allow immigration enforcement agents to enter any nonpublic areas of their workplaces unless they obtain a subpoena or judicial warrant.
The Act also will prohibit employers from consenting to enforcement agents accessing, reviewing or obtaining their employee records (except Forms I-9 and other documents for which ICE has provided the required three days' notice before inspection) without a subpoena or judicial warrant.
Employers also will be required to notify employees of any inspections of Forms I-9 or other employment records within 72 hours of receiving notice of the inspection, including:
- The name of the agency conducting the inspections;
- The date that the employer received notice of the inspection;
- The nature of the inspection to the extent known; and
- A copy of the Notice of Inspection of I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification forms for the inspection to be conducted.
By July 1, 2018, the California Labor Commissioner will create a template that employers may use to satisfy these notice requirements.
Within 72 hours of receiving inspection results, employers will be required to provide affected employees a copy of the written immigration agency notice and a written notice containing certain information about their collective obligations.
Employers that violate any of the aforementioned requirements will be subject to civil penalties of $2,000 to $5,000 for a first violation and of $5,000 to $10,000 for each subsequent violation.
In addition, employers will be prohibited from reverifying the employment eligibility of a current employee at a time or in a manner not required by specified federal law. Violations of this requirement will be subject to a civil penalty of up to $10,000.