California Raises I-9 Issues
California has a new law that provides California workers with expanded protections against adverse employment actions. Specifically, this new law applies in situations where individuals are seeking to change their personal information, i.e. they have a new identity or Social Security Number, etc. Assembly Bill No. 263 changed the Labor Code to add the following provision:
An employer may not discharge an employee or in any manner discriminate, retaliate, or take any adverse action against an employee because the employee updates or attempts to update his or her personal information, unless the changes are directly related to the skill set, qualifications, or knowledge required for the job.
What does this mean for employers from any immigration perspective?
- Employee Presents a New Social Security Number: This new provision of the law may apply in situations where an employee provides a new Social Security Number because he/she is now legal and would like to update that information with the company for benefit purposes, etc.
- Employee Has a New Identity: This new provision may also apply in situations where an employee provides a whole new identity because he/she has obtained an immigration benefit – such as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals – and is now authorized to reside and work in the United States.
This new provision of the Labor Code appears to prevent an employer from discharging an employee who presented false documents and/or information during the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification process. For many employers, this new law may affect the company’s policy and/or practice concerning the employment of employees who have presented fraudulent documents or lied on a company document, such as a Form I-9. An “Honesty Policy” may also be impacted based on this new law.
We will be monitoring how this legislation is being implemented and will continue to provide updates as they become available.
If you have any concerns or questions about how this new provision of the California Labor Code impacts your company, please do not hesitate to contact us.