Are you prepared for an I-9 Audit? Labor Commissioner Issues New Form for CA Employers

California businesses have become the target of immigration raids and I-9 audits.  It is difficult for businesses to know just what they should do in the event that ICE, Homeland Security, or another governmental agency demands entrance to their business and/or issues an I-9 inspection notice.

California Law

California’s Immigrant Worker Protection Act (AB 450) provides California workers with protection from immigration enforcement while on the job.  This law became effective January 1, 2018 and applies to all California employers.

What does the law require?

  1.  The law prohibits employers from allowing immigration enforcement agents to enter any nonpublic areas of a work place, absent a judicial warrant, or access, review, or obtain employee records, without a subpoena or court order.

Typically, enforcement agencies will have the required documentation; if, however, the officers do not have the correct paperwork, you will need to make a decision as to what action to take.  Under California law you are required to refuse to allow the agents entry until they produce the proper documentation.  The business will have to decide whether to accept the penalty issued under California law or face the potential repercussion of defying a federal agent.

2.  The law mandates that an employer post a notice to employees in the workplace within 72 hours of receiving a “Notice of Inspection” from a government agency.

This week the California Labor Commissioner released the model notice form that all California employers should use in the event they receive an inspection notice.  The notice is available in both English and Spanish.

3. Once the inspection is over an employer must notify each “affected employee” within 72 hours of receiving the inspection results. Each affected employee must receive 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.  This notice must be specific to each affected employee.

Employers Should Do an Internal Audit – NOW!

Be prepared – do an internal I-9 audit as soon as possible.  Mistakes caught during the internal audit can be remedied, as long as the employer is aware of the rules surrounding lawful I-9 corrections.

Call us at 559-825-6629 or email CoreHR today for assistance with conducting an I-9 audit.