Governor Signs AB 450 Prohibiting Employers’ Cooperation with Federal Immigration Officials

On Thursday, October 5, 2017, California Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 450 — and, in the process, put California employers squarely in the middle of the federal immigration debate.

Known as the “Immigrant Worker Protection Act,” AB 450 was part of a package of bills signed by the Governor declaring California a “Sanctuary State.”  Among other things, AB 450:

— Prohibits employers from voluntarily consenting to an immigration enforcement (ICE) agent request to access, review or obtain employment records unless that agent has a subpoena or court order;

— Prohibits employers from voluntarily consenting to an immigration enforcement (ICE) agent request to enter nonpublic areas of the workplace unless that agent has a subpoena or court order;

— Prohibits employers from verifying the employment eligibility of a current employee at a time or in a manner not required by federal law;

— Requires employers to provide to each employee written notice within 24 hours of the employer receiving notice of immigration enforcement (ICE) actions, including I-9 audits and/or workplace raids;

— Requires employers to notify the Labor Commissioner of immigration enforcement (ICE) actions and to provide the Labor Commissioner with access to the worksite, would allow the Labor Commissioner the authority to conduct a thorough audit of all labor practices of the employer; and

— Requires employers to notify an “affected employee” or his/her “authorized representative” of the results of any immigration enforcement (ICE) action that involved the inspection of records within 72 hours of the employer’s receipt of the results of that inspection.

Employers who violate AB 450 are subjected to civil penalties between $10,000 and $25,000 for each violation.

This new law takes effect January 1, 2018.  You can read the full text of AB 450 here.

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