New Protections For Immigrant Workers on Horizon

Brian GermanLabor and Immigration, Legislative

A California legislative committee recently amended a proposed bill that will define the individual rights of immigrant workers while on the job.  The Immigration Worker Protection Act (AB 450) would protect immigrant farmworkers against self-audits of I-9 documentation from their employer.immigrant workers

The bill would require that employers must ask for a warrant prior to giving the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) access to areas of the job site not accessible to the public.  AB 450 would also prevent employers from providing confidential information, such as employee social security numbers, to ICE without first being presented a subpoena.

AB 450 would also require employers to notify the Labor Commissioner before reviewing the employment eligibility of a current employee.  The Labor Commissioner would also have to be notified of ICE I-9 audits and workplace raids.

The current bill calls for penalties of at least $2,000 for the first offense and at least $5,000 for each subsequent violation.

The bill has passed through the State Assembly and is currently in the State Senate, where it was referred to the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee.