As of January 1, 2018, California employers must contend with additional red-tape under AB 450—which prohibits employers from voluntarily allowing federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents on to work sites. Employers cannot provide access or hand-over requested information on an employee unless presented with a judicial warrant, subpoena, or court order. In addition, an employer must provide notice to affected employees within 72 hours of receiving a federal request to inspect I-9 forms or other personnel files. Employers must inform the employee(s) that a specific federal agency is conducting an inspection and must provide a copy of any federal notice of the planned inspection.
In response to concerns and recurrent questions from some in the business community, the California Attorney General’s office recently issued guidance, which is available here. But the top-line point is that employers must walk a tight-rope in California. They must comply with federal law and any official warrants or federal court orders, but they are prohibited from cooperating otherwise.
As always, employers should tread carefully when dealing with government inspections of any sort. For further guidance, check-out this recent article discussing your rights in an administrative inspection.