The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement acting director announced
that the agency will quadruple to quintuple the number of workplace inspections
it conducts in the coming year. Agents have been directed to prosecute
employers as well as detain and deport undocumented workers found in such
investigations. Employers are encouraged to ensure full compliance with
Form I-9 requirements and to be prepared for this increase in routine
immigration, and should be reminded that potential fines for employers
who fail to comply with strict verification, recordkeeping, and document
retention requirements with regard to Form I-9 were recently doubled.
**Here is the 2018 CA Bill regarding - Worksite Immigration Enforcement
and Protections (effective January 1, 2018)
The Immigrant Worker Protection Act – IWPA (AB 450) — part of a package of bills the governor signed to create a “sanctuary
state” — provides workers with protection from immigration
enforcement while on the job.
IWPA prohibits employers from:
- Providing federal immigration enforcement agents access to nonpublic areas
of a business without a judicial warrant; and
- Providing agents access to employee records without a subpoena or judicial
warrant. This prohibition does not apply to Form I-9 or other documents
for which a Notice of Inspection was provided to the employer. However,
employers must follow specific requirements related to Form I-9 inspections.
An employer that provides access in violation of the IWPA can be fined
anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000 for a first violation and $5,000 to $10,000
for each subsequent violation.
Regarding Form I-9 inspections, the new CA Bill, requires employers to:
- Post a notice to all current employees informing them of any federal immigration
agency’s inspections of Forms I-9 or other employment records within
72 hours of receiving Notice of Inspection. AB 450 requires that the notice
contain specific information about the inspection and that it be posted
in the language normally used to communicate employment-related information.
Employers must comply with this posting requirement beginning January
1, 2018, even though the Labor Commissioner has until July 1, 2018, to
create a model posting template. The notice must also be given to the
collective bargaining representative, if any.
- Provide a copy of the federal Notice of Inspection to an affected employee
upon reasonable request.
- Give each affected employee and the employee’s collective bargaining
representative a copy of the inspection results and a written notice of
the employer’s and employee’s obligations arising from the
inspection. This must be done within 72 hours of receiving the results
and specific information must be included. An “affected employee”
is one identified by the inspection results as potentially lacking work
authorization or having document deficiencies.
An employer that fails to follow these notice requirements can be fined
between $2,000 to $5,000 for a first violation and $5,000 to $10,000 for
each subsequent violation.
This bill also makes it unlawful for employers to reverify the employment
eligibility of current employees in a time or manner not allowed by federal
employment eligibility verification laws. Federal law already prohibits
unlawful reverification practices, such as reverification of unexpired
documentation. However, this bill adds an additional state civil penalty
of up to $10,000.