California I-9 Compliance Update: New Law Takes Effect

California I-9 Compliance Update

Assembly Bill 450 took effect on January 1, 2018.  The law implements new requirements for California employers in relation to California I-9 compliance and worksite enforcement responsibilities.  The new law affects both public and private employers. As outlined by Montserrat Miller of Arnall Golden Gregory LLP:

Limits voluntary consents

  • Employers (or their agent) cannot provide voluntary consent to an immigration enforcement agent to enter any nonpublic areas of a place of labor unless they provide a judicial warrant.
  • Employers (or their agent) cannot provide voluntary consent to an immigration enforcement agent to access, review, or obtain an employer’s employee records without a subpoena or judicial warrant. However, there is a carve out in the law for the Form I-9 when Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents present a Notice of Inspection (NOI). Please note, subpoenas are not always issued by a court. An administrative agency such as ICE can also issue subpoenas.

Employers must provide disclosures

  • Employers must provide notice (within 72 hours) to employees and if applicable their union representative, of any Form I-9 inspection by ICE as well as any other inspections of employment records conducted by an immigration agency.
  • In addition to the above notice requirement to employees and their union representative, the new law has other disclosure requirements. Namely, an employer must, upon request, provide a copy of the NOI. Additionally, they must also provide any follow up documentation describing deficiencies identified as a result of the inspection by ICE. The Notice of Suspect Documents or Notice of Discrepancies, both issued by ICE, are possible examples.

Limits re-verification

  • It limits re-verification of employees' employment authorization unless specified by federal immigration law.

Penalties for non-compliance

  • The law allows for civil penalties for non-compliance ranging from $2,000 – $10,000.

Ms. Miller suggests that ALL employers have a plan in place to address worksite enforcement actions. California employers should update their plans in accordance with the new law. I-9 compliance worksite enforcement is expected to increase. Because of this it's especially important that employers have a process to manage current and new Form I-9 compliance.  Equifax can help with our award-winning suite of I-9 compliance solutions to streamline compliance and reduce administrative burden. Register here to see a demo of our I-9 Management solution.