CA Governor Signs AB 450: Immigration Worker Protection Act

California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law AB 450 (Chiu) on October 5, 2017. AB 450 imposes various requirements on public and private employers with regard to federal immigration agency immigration worksite enforcement actions. Except as otherwise required by federal law, the bill prohibits an employer or other person acting on the employer’s behalf from providing voluntary consent to an immigration enforcement agent to enter nonpublic areas of a place of labor unless the agent provides a judicial warrant, except as specified.

Except as required by federal law, the AB 450 prohibits an employer or other person acting on the employer’s behalf from providing voluntary consent to an immigration enforcement agent to access, review, or obtain the employer’s employee records without a subpoena or court order, subject to a specified exception.

Except as required by federal law, AB 450 requires an employer to provide a current employee notice containing specified information, by posting in the language the employer normally uses to communicate employment information, of an inspection of I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification forms or other employment records conducted by an immigration agency within 72 hours of receiving the federal notice of inspection.

AB 450 requires an employer, upon reasonable request, to provide an affected employee a copy of the notice of inspection of I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification forms. The Labor Commissioner will make available a template of the notice for employers by July 1, 2018.

The bill requires an employer to provide to an affected current employee, and to the employee’s authorized representative, if any, a copy of the written immigration agency notice that provides for the inspection results and written notice of the obligations of the employer and the affected employee arising from the action, as specified.

Penalties for failing to satisfy the prohibitions described above are $2,000 up to $5,000 for a first violation and $5,000 up to $10,000 for each subsequent violation.

Except as required by federal law, the AB 450 prohibits an employer from reverifying the employment eligibility of a current employee at a time or in a manner not required by specified federal law. Penalty of up to $10,000 for a violation of this prohibition to be recoverable by the Labor Commissioner.

The bill grants the Labor Commissioner or the Attorney General the exclusive authority to enforce these provisions and requires that any penalty recovered be deposited in the Labor Enforcement and Compliance Fund.

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