Effective January 1, 2018, California’s Immigrant Worker Protection Act has raised serious questions to both employees and employers about government intrusion into the workplace. Many undocumented immigrant workers are scared the government will conduct sweeps unexpectedly at their job site and begin deportation action. However, the immigrant worker protection act (AB-450) protects immigrant workers from a nightmare scenario and it’s crucial to have understanding of everyone’s rights and obligations in these matters. Most law enforcement agencies are not cooperating with ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) to help with such raids as they still have an obligation to serve and protect the people of the state. Below are the 4 things you need to know about AB-450 to protect yourself.
1) Employers may not voluntarily consent to an immigration enforcement agent to enter any nonpublic areas of “a place of labor” without a subpoena or judicial warrant.
2) Employers must give notice to employees of any immigration review of employment records. Notice must be given within 72 hours of receiving the notice of inspection and in the language in which the employer typically communicates with the employee.
3) An employer, upon reasonable request, shall provide an “affected employee” a copy of the notice of inspection of I-9 employment eligibility verification forms. An “affected employee” is an employee who identifies as having lack of work authorization, or an employee whose been identified as having documents with deficiencies. The notice of such inspection needs to be given to the “affected employee” within 72 hours or after the receipt of the notice to the employer.
4) Except as otherwise required by federal law, Employers cannot re-verify the employment eligibility of a current employee at a time or in a manner not required by federal law. Violating this provision can cost a penalty of up to $10,000 to the employer.
As you can see, your employer is required to notify you with more than enough time about any inspection that the government may be conducting. Failure to provide the proper notice can result in your employer paying a fine of $2,000 to $5,000 for the first offense and $5,000 up to $10,000 for each other violation.
It is clear the ICE is going to conduct raids in workplaces throughout California. When it does, federal immigration officials issue notices of inspection, and orders businesses to provide proof their employees are legally allowed to work in the U.S. — giving them three days to comply. Thus, if asked, it is prudent to supply proof of eligibility to work. If you feel your rights have been violated or serious concerns arise at work, make sure to contact an experienced employment attorney for help. As an employee you have rights, and at V. James DeSimone Law, we work diligently on behalf of clients whose workplace rights have been violated. Whether you are dealing with a matter involving discrimination, harassment, a wage and hour claim or any other employment law case, you can trust that our team is here for you. We investigate the matter to determine the exact issue at hand and develop a strong case strategy based on your individual needs and goal. Call us today for a consultation at 310-693-5561.