California’s Immigrant Worker Protection Act (AB 450) provides California workers with protection from immigration enforcement while on the job. This law applies to all California employers and was effective January 1, 2018.
One of the requirements of this new law is that employers must provide notice to all current employees when a federal immigration agency intends to inspect the employer’s Forms I-9 or other employment records.
Required Notice to Employees
If an employer receives a Notice of Inspection from a federal immigration agency, the employer must post a required notice to employees in the workplace within 72 hours of receiving the Notice of Inspection.
The notice must be posted in the language normally used to communicate with employees. A copy of the Notice of Inspection and any accompanying documents must be posted along with the required notice.
In addition to posting the notice in the workplace, employers must give the notice to the employees’ collective bargaining representative(s), if any.
Additional Notice Requirements
Employers also have notice obligations once the inspection is over. Within 72 hours of receiving the inspection results, employers must give each “affected employee” a copy of the results and a written notice of the employer’s and employee’s obligations arising from the inspection.
An “affected employee” is one identified by the inspection results as potentially lacking work authorization or having document deficiencies. There is not a template for this notice; it must be specific to the affected employee.
Preparation Is Essential
Employers only have 72 hours from the time they receive a Notice of Inspection to generate and post the required notice to employees, and only 72 hours from receipt of the inspection results to notify affected employees. Employers who violate the notice requirements can face penalties of up to $10,000 per violation, depending on whether it’s a first or subsequent offense.
Because the timeframes are so short, preparation is key to meeting the notice requirements. Employers should have a process in place to respond to Notices of Inspection. Employers should identify who in their organization would likely receive a Notice of Inspection and confirm that person knows how to respond.