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  • John Valentine

New California Law Protects Workers From On The Job Immigration Enforcement

Effective January 1, 2018, California law will prohibit employers from providing voluntary consent to an immigration enforcement agent to enter nonpublic areas of a place of work unless the agent provides a judicial warrant. The law does not prohibit inviting immigration officers into nonpublic areas, where no employees are present, in order to verify the existence of a warrant.

Except as required by federal law, the law will also prohibit an employer 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. This prohibition would not apply to I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification forms and other documents for which a notice of inspection has been provided to the employer.

The law will also require employers provide a notice to each current employee of any inspections of I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification forms or other employment records conducted by an immigration agency within 72 hours of receiving notice of the inspection.

The law will grant the state labor commissioner or the attorney general the exclusive authority to enforce these provisions. The law will prescribe penalties for failure to satisfy the prohibitions described above of $2,000–$5,000 for a first violation and $5,000–$10,000 for each subsequent violation.

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