California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today issued an advisory providing an overview of and guidance on the privacy prescriptions under the Immigrant Worker Protection Act (Assembly Bill 450). Attorney General Becerra and Labor Commissioner Julie Su also issued joint guidance on frequently asked questions to help employers and workers understand and comply with the new state law.
The Attorney General’s advisory explains to employers that under state law they cannot voluntarily grant immigration enforcement agents physical access to nonpublic areas of the work site or to private employee records.
In a Tuesday press conference, Becerra said the new state worker protections are not in conflict with federal immigration laws but rather, work together with them. “Everyone has an obligation to follow the law, whether it’s the Constitution, federal, or state law. AB 450 works in concert, not in conflict, with our Constitution and federal laws. Today's advisory and guidance aim to illustrate that. My office will work to ensure businesses have the appropriate guidance to protect both employers’ and employees’ privacy rights,” said Becerra.
Under the Immigrant Worker Protection Act, employers are required to notify all employees of inspections of their employment records by federal immigration agencies within 72 hours of receiving a federal notice of inspection. The employer’s notifications must be available in the language the employer normally uses to communicate employment information.