California’s “Immigrant Worker Protection Act” (“AB 450”) went into effect on January 1, 2018. This Act prohibits California employers from allowing an ICE agent to search a worksite by an ICE agent without proper, legal documentation. Employers may not provide ICE agents access to employee records without a subpoena or warrant, with the exception of Form I-9’s and other documents for which the employer receives a Notice of Inspection.
Within 72 hours of receiving Notice of the Inspection, employers must notify each current employee – and any applicable union representative – that ICE will be inspecting of I-9s or other employment records. The notice must be delivered in the language the employer normally uses to communicate employment-related information to the employee; include the name of the immigration agency conducting the inspection; state the date the employer received the notice of the inspection; and state the nature of the inspection. The Labor Commissioner will publish a template for employers to use by July 1, 2018.
Lastly, if the results of a Notice of Inspection identify an employee who may lack work authorization, an employer must provide the “affected employee” (and any applicable union representative) within 72 hours of receipt: (1) a copy of ICE’s notice of the inspection results; and (2) written notice of the obligations of the employer and the affected employee arising from the results of the records investigation.
Violations of this law carry civil penalties range from $2,000 to $5,000 for the first violation, and up to $10,000 for subsequent violations.
What Does This Mean For You? Until the Labor Commissioner releases a template for employers, employers who receive a Notice of Inspection from ICE should create a template that meets the notice requirements of AB 450 for employees to fill out in the case of an inspection. Employers should also train employees who are in charge of the workplace facility access to demand a warrant before allowing ICE agents to enter the non-public areas of the worksite, and to only provide employee records to an agent if presented with a subpoena or judicial warrant for such records.
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