October 16, 2017

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California Becomes a “Sanctuary State,” Restricts Employer Cooperation With Federal Immigration Authorities

On Thursday, October 5th, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law nearly a dozen new immigration-related bills, including AB 450, which prohibits employers from cooperating with federal immigration authorities in the absence of a judicial warrant or court order.  Among other things, the new law:

  • Prohibits employers from voluntarily consenting to an immigration enforcement agent’s entering nonpublic areas of the workplace without a warrant;

  • Prohibits employers from voluntarily consenting to an immigration enforcement agent’s accessing, reviewing or obtaining employment records without a subpoena or court order;

  • Prohibits employers from reverifying the employment eligibility of a current employee at a time or in a manner not required by federal law; and

  • Requires employers to provide notice to current employees of an inspection of I-9 forms and other employment records by an immigration agency within 72 hours of receiving the federal notice of inspection.

Penalties for failure to comply with the new law range from $2,000 to $10,000 per violation.

Gov. Brown signed the controversial new laws over objections from the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the California State Sheriffs’ Association, among other groups.

© 2017 Proskauer Rose LLP.

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About this Author

Anthony J Oncidi, Employment Attorney, Proskauer Rose Law Firm
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Anthony J. Oncidi heads the Labor & Employment Law Group in the Los Angeles office. Tony represents employers and management in all aspects of labor relations and employment law, including litigation and preventive counseling, wage and hour matters, including class actions, wrongful termination, employee discipline, Title VII and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, executive employment contract disputes, sexual harassment training and investigations, workplace violence, drug testing and privacy issues, Sarbanes-Oxley claims and employee raiding and trade secret protection....

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