We have just received word that the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) is showing up to agricultural employers, and in particular packing houses, in the Central Valley performing I-9 Audits. The most critical thing for employers to do in the event of an audit is BE PREPARED! You can find our Cheat Sheet™ for employers “What to Do When ICE Shows Up" here.
New in California this year, under AB 450, an employer may not voluntarily consent to ICE performing audits. The bill makes it clear that it does not override federal law and that employers must act in compliance with a subpoena or court order presented by ICE. Employers are also required to provide notice to current employees of an inspection of Form I-9 within 72 hours of receiving a federal Notice of Inspection—notice must also be provided in writing to the employees’ union, if there is one. Penalties for non-compliance range from $2,000 to $5,000 for an initial violation and $5,000 to $10,000 for subsequent violations. If you have any questions about what to do when ICE shows up, contact the experts at The Saqui Law Group.
The Saqui Law Group “I-9 Audits - What to Do When ICE Shows Up” Podcast can be found on iTunes, Google Play, or on our website here!