We have been waiting to see which employment-related bills from this year’s legislative session Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. would sign or veto. This week, he signed a few employment-related bills.
Two of the bills signed this week are:
SB 306 allows an employee or the Labor Commissioner to obtain a temporary restraining order prohibiting an employer from terminating an employee based on an allegation of retaliation before completing an investigation. Currently, the Labor Commissioner has the authority to seek any appropriate relief, including injunctive relief, only after it has investigated a claim of retaliation and made a determination that a violation exists. This bill also reduces the burden of proof for the employee making a claim and expands the Labor Commissioner’s authority to investigate an employer for retaliation, even without a complaint from an employee.
This bill establishes the Immigrant Worker Protection Act that shields workers from immigration enforcement while on the job. Under this bill, an employer is prohibited from providing any federal immigration enforcement agent access to a business without a properly executed warrant. The employer is also prohibited from providing the agent voluntary access to the employee’s records without a subpoena. The bill also requires employers to notify all current employees of a Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification inspection performed by federal immigration enforcement officials, as well as provide notice of the results of the inspection to each affected employee and authorized representative. Finally, violation of the provisions of the bill carries stiff fines ranging from $2,000 to $5,000 for a first violation and $5,000 to $10,000 for each subsequent violation.
The Governor still has until midnight on October 15 to decide on the remaining bills. Stay tuned to HRWatchdog for more updates.
CalChamber’s employment law experts will cover the new employment laws for 2018 and how they will affect California employers for our members in our November HRCalifornia Extra newsletter. Not a member? See how HRCalifornia can help you.