California Assembly Bill No. 450 (AB 450) regarding California employers’ obligations when subject to federal immigration worksite enforcement actions was signed by Governor Brown on October 5, 2017, and took effect on January 1, 2018. As part of a group of immigration-related bills recently signed into law, AB 450 is hailed by advocates as solidifying California’s status as a Sanctuary State. The law introduces several requirements applicable to public and private employers in California. How the California Labor Commissioner or California Attorney General will enforce the law is still an open question, given that federal law ordinarily preempts state law in the area of immigration, and because there is uncertainty surrounding which federal immigration enforcement agents must be refused entrance or documents under the new California law. Below we detail a few of the new requirements for employers:
It is a good idea for employers to revisit and remind themselves of some basic requirements for employee work authorization and employer responsibilities about once a year, to make sure that one is up to date on any new rules and fully remembering old ones. All individuals working in the United States must have legal authorization to do so and earned wages must be reported to the Internal Revenue Service for tax purposes and the Social Security Administration for potential benefit accrual.