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California SB 1001 Expands Anti-Discrimination Employment Protections for Immigrants

California SB 1001 Expands Anti-Discrimination Employment Protections for Immigrant Workers

California Senate Bill 1001 went into effect on January 1, 2017. The newly enacted legislation expands several California labor and employment law bills and gives more immigration-related protections to job applicants and incumbent employees relating to "document abuse."

SB 1001 comes to Californians at an interesting time of change at the federal level in terms of unfair immigration-related employment practices.

Understanding California Senate Bill 1001

California Senate Bill 1001 is quite comprehensive. The new amendment to the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) makes it illegal for employers to engage in the following behaviors:

  • Requesting more or different documents than required under federal law to verify a foreign job applicant's immigrant status;
  • Refusing to honor documents that reasonably appear as genuine;
  • Refusing to honor documents or work authorization based on specific status or term that accompanies an applicant's authorization to work;
  • Attempting to re-verify or reinvestigate an employee's authorization to work using unfair immigration-related employment practices.

Under the statute, employees and job applicants who are subjected to these unlawful behaviors may have a claim with the California Labor Commission's Office. A complaint of this nature can penalize California employers up to $10,000 per violation.

California SB 1001 Expands Immigrant Protections at Point of Hire

SB 1001 protects job applicants and employees in California by expanding punishable hiring practices. Document abuse at the point of application for hire is now a "punishable activity" under California law.

Examples of Employer Document Abuse

The California Assembly Committee on Labor Employment has given examples on what could constitute document abuse against an immigrant employee. If you are subjected to any of the following, your employer could be held liable for discrimination:

  • Your employer demands to see your U.S. passport;
  • Your employer asks for an employment authorization document (EAD) after you have shown a state ID and "unrestricted" Social Security card;
  • Your employer refuses to accept your EAD because it includes a future expiration date;
  • Your employer asks to re-verify your work documents when you have already presented a green card at point of hire;
  • Your employer demands to see your renewed driver's license if your previous license used on an I-9 form expired.

If you notice any of these behaviors, it is important to contact a California employment attorney to help you file an employment discrimination complaint.

California Has Strong Protections in Place for Immigrant Workers

Immigrant employees and job applicants in California are protected under state labor and employment laws from actual or threatened retaliation for demanding workplace rights. These employee protections are some of the strongest in the United States, and SB 1001 has strengthened them even more. No one should have to endure discrimination or retaliation in the workplace, and California law ensures that all workers are protected from illegal employer behaviors.

California Senate Bill 1001: Additional Information

If your California employer is violating your employee rights, rest assured that California laws are in place to protect you. Contact our passionate Los Angeles employment attorneys at Hennig Ruiz today to discuss your claim. Free consultation.

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