Today's Law As Amended

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AB-589 Employment: unfair immigration-related practices.(2019-2020)

As Amends the Law Today


 Section 1019.3 is added to the Labor Code, to read:

 (a) It is unlawful for an employer to knowingly destroy, conceal, remove, confiscate, or possess any actual or purported passport or other immigration document, or any other actual or purported government identification document, of another person in the course of committing, or with the intent to commit, trafficking, peonage, slavery, involuntary servitude, or a coercive labor practice.
(b) A violation of subdivision (a) is a misdemeanor.
(c) Notwithstanding, and in addition to, any fine that may be levied as a result of any criminal prosecution provided for in subdivision (b) or another statute, an employer who violates subdivision (a) shall be subject to a civil penalty of up to ten thousand dollars ($10,000). The penalty shall be recoverable by the Labor Commissioner. If, upon inspection or investigation, the Labor Commissioner determines that a violation of this section has occurred, the Labor Commissioner may issue a citation. The procedures for issuing, contesting, and enforcing judgments for citations or civil penalties issued by the Labor Commissioner for violations of this section shall be the same as those set forth in Section 1197.1.
(d) An employer shall keep posted conspicuously at the place of work, if practicable, or otherwise where it can be seen as employees come and go to their places of work, or at the office or nearest agency for payment kept by the employer, a notice specifying the rights of an employee to maintain custody and control of the employee’s own immigration documents and that the withholding of immigration documents by an employer is a crime, in accordance with this section. The notice shall also inform employees of the following: “If your employer or anyone is controlling your movement, documents, or wages, or using direct or implied threats against you or your family, or both, you have the right to call local or federal authorities, or the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 888-373-7888.”
(e) In enacting this section, the Legislature does not intend to preclude a prosecution under the labor trafficking provisions or other laws prohibiting the mistreatment of workers generally, or any other civil remedy available at law or equity.

SEC. 2.

 Section 1019.5 is added to the Labor Code, to read:

 (a) For an employee hired on or after July 1, 2021, an employer shall provide to the employee the document entitled the “Worker’s Bill of Rights” before verifying an employee’s employment authorization pursuant to Section 1324a(b) of Title 8 of the United States Code. For an employee hired before July 1, 2021, an employer shall provide to each employee the document when made available by the department. The employer shall provide the document in a language understood by the employee, and the employer shall require the employee to sign and date the document in acknowledgment that the employee has read and understood the rights listed in the document. The employer shall keep the signed document in its records for a period of no less than three years and shall give the employee a copy of the signed document. The employer may comply with the language requirement either by providing the document in the language understood by the employee, or, if not available from the department in the language understood by the employee pursuant to subdivision (c), by having the document interpreted for the employee in the language that the employee understands.
(b) On or before July 1, 2021, the department shall develop a document for purposes of this section, entitled the “Worker’s Bill of Rights,” to inform an employee of the following rights:
(1) The right of an employee to hold on to the employee’s own immigration and identification documents and that an employer cannot take those documents from the employee, except as required to inspect or copy documents to verify employment eligibility under federal law.
(2) The right to be paid the mandatory minimum wage established by law or a wage that is agreed upon in an employment contract, whichever is higher.
(3) The right to live wherever the employee chooses, unless living in employer-provided housing is agreed upon as a lawful condition of employment and living on the premises is customary or necessary to the duties of employment.
(4) The right not to be subject to debt bondage in lieu of being paid wages owed to the employee. Debt bondage is not legal in the United States and there is no imprisonment for those who owe money.
(5) The right to call local or federal authorities, or the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 888-373-7888, if the employer or anyone else is controlling the employee’s movement, documents, or wages, or using direct or implied threats against the employee or the employee’s family.
(c) The department shall make the document developed pursuant to subdivision (b) available on its internet website for download by employers to use in accordance with this section on or before July 1, 2021. The department shall make the document available in English and in versions translated into the 12 languages most commonly spoken in this state by non-English-speaking people or people with limited English language proficiency.
(d) Before any enforcement action may be taken against an employer for failing to provide the “Worker’s Bill of Rights” as required by this section, the employer shall be granted 30 days to correct the failure, and, if the employer corrects the failure within that period, an enforcement action shall not be taken.
SEC. 3.
 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.