California: Challenges to Protections from Immigration Enforcement Target Status as a “Sanctuary State”


All Employers with CA Employees


July 4, 2018


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California’s Immigrant Worker Protection Act (AB 450) (the “Act”) went into effect as of January 1st this year. The Act restricted employer cooperation with federal immigration enforcement agencies beyond what was required by federal law. However, a federal district judge recently blocked the state from enforcing some of the statutory restrictions against private employers. Specifically, employers cannot be prosecuted or fined for:

  • Voluntarily granting immigration enforcement agents, without a warrant, access to non-public areas of workplace;
  • Voluntarily granting immigration enforcement agents, without a subpoena or judicial warrant, access to company records (such as personnel files); and
  • Reverifying the employment eligibility of current employees when not required by federal law (note that federal law has restrictions on when reverification is permitted).

Importantly, employer notice obligations remain in effect under the Act for receiving a federal Notice of Inspection of Form I-9s. Employers must post the Notice within 72 hours of receipt, and provide notice to applicable employees of the inspection results within 72 hours of receipt. The court stated that the notice provisions provide employees an opportunity to cure deficiencies in their paperwork or eligibility.

It remains to be seen if the state of California will ultimately prevail over this preliminary injunction and restore these provisions.  Given the still-developing nature of this case, employers may wish to consult with legal counsel to determine a response plan for any immigration enforcement actions they receive.

Action Items

  1. Review AB 450 procedures with legal counsel for determining an appropriate response plan.
  2. Implement procedures to comply with AB 450’s notice requirements for Form I-9 inspections.
  3. Subscribers can call our HR On-Call Hotline at (888) 378-2456 for further assistance.

Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser.

© 2018 ManagEase

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