California employers are reminded that the state’s Immigrant Worker Protection Act (Assembly Bill 450) remains in effect even as the federal government seeks a permanent injunction and as some local jurisdictions voice support for the U.S.’s lawsuit. The law:

  • Imposes new obligations on employers, prohibiting them from allowing federal immigration enforcement agents to enter their premises or access employee records without a judicial warrant or subpoena.
  • Requires employers to notify employees before and after immigration inspections.
  • Prevents employers from reverifying the employment eligibility of current employees unless they are required to do so by federal law.
  • Imposes monetary penalties of up to $10,000 per violation.

The law was signed by Governor Jerry Brown in October and took effect Jan. 1. It is one of three laws the federal government is seeking to invalidate in a lawsuit that was filed in March. The other laws in question are Assembly Bill 103, which directs the California attorney general’s office to investigate enforcement efforts of federal agents, and Senate Bill 54, California’s “sanctuary state” bill, which limits how much information state and local law enforcement can share with federal immigration authorities. A handful of localities have announced their support for the federal government’s lawsuit, but unless a judge rules to enjoin any of the state laws they will remain in effect throughout the state.

BAL Analysis: California employers should be aware of their legal obligations under AB 450, and are encouraged to take steps to update their I-9 and related policies and procedures and train key staff on the law. BAL will follow the litigation as it moves through the court system and will alert clients to any changes. A BAL FAQ on what employers need to know about AB 450 is available here.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact

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