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Know your rights as an employer.
- Have a plan for who on staff handles government officials. Establish who that point of contact is — whether a specific manager or owner and instruct employees of the appropriate contact. Your plan should also include contacting legal counsel.
- Know your rights. Anyone showing up at your workplace is only allowed to enter public areas without your permission — primarily the dining area. California law AB 450, which just went into effect requires that employers may not voluntarily consent to an immigration enforcement agent to enter any nonpublic areas of “a place of labor” without a subpoena or judicial warrant. Therefore, any areas that are off-limits to the general public can be off limits to federal officials as well. This includes your kitchen, office, break room, etc.
- Ask to see a warrant. A valid warrant should be signed and have accurate legal information, including the name and address of your business, listed names of specific employees, etc. You don’t have to provide them more information than what’s requested on the warrant. In fact, the new state law indicates that except as otherwise required by federal law, employers cannot re-verify the employment eligibility of a current employee at a time or in a manner not required by federal law. Basically, don’t offer up or penalize employees who you think may not have the proper documentation just because ICE has arrived.
- I-9 forms. ICE will likely request to see your Employment Eligibility Verification forms, known as the I-9. You should have these forms separate from other employee records, which federal officials don’t have a right to review. You have the right to request that officials come back another time to review these forms, and in fact under California law AB 450, employers must give notice of 72 hours to employees of any immigration review of employment records, and there are specific measures for notifying “affected employees." The notice must be posted in the language the employer normally uses to communicate employment-related information to the employee. In addition, the notice must include the following information:
- The name of the immigration agency conducting the inspections of I-9 Employment
- Eligibility Verification forms or other employment records.
- The date that the employer received notice of the inspection.
- The nature of the inspection to the extent known,
- A copy of the Notice of Inspection of I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification forms for the inspection to be conducted.
Call the Marin County Rapid Response Hotline 415-991-4545 to report the raid. Marin RR does raid verification for all calls of alleged ICE Enforcement activity within Marin. Raid verification is an important component to dispel myths and lessen fear. They will physically go and verify or announce false alarms to rumors about ICE activity. Your employees have rights too. Employees don’t have to speak to immigration officials. They can request an attorney and a translator.