[Editor’s Note: today’s post is brought to you by guest blogger John Manley, U.S. Immigration Attorney and Co-Liaison to U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.]
On October 9, 2011, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law A.B. 1236. A.B. 1236 prohibits local governments from making E-Verify mandatory for employers within their borders.
Here is the full text of the bill: A.B. 1236
As part of the bill, the Legislature made a number of interesting findings:
1) A 2007 independent evaluation commissioned by the federal Department of Homeland Security found that the electronic employment verification database was still not sufficiently up to date to meet requirements for accurate verification. This has led to employers being unable to hire employees in a timely manner and kept workers from earning wages.
2) Mandatory use of an electronic employment verification program would increase the costs of doing business in a difficult economic climate. The United States Chamber of Commerce estimates that the net societal cost of all federal contractors using the E-Verify Program would amount to $10 billion a year, federally.
(3) California businesses would face considerable odds in implementing such a program. Employers using the program report that staff must receive additional training that disrupts normal business operations. If E-Verify had been made mandatory for all [California] employers in 2010, it would have cost businesses $2.7 billion, $2.6 billion of which would have been borne by the small businesses, which drive our economy.
Cities such as Temecula, Lancaster, Murrieta, and Lake Elsinore did have existing E-Verify ordinances requiring private employers to use E-Verify. After A.B. 1236, these ordinances are now null and void.
Under A.B. 1236, therefore,except as required by federal law, or as a condition of receiving federal funds, neither the state nor a city, county, city and county, or special district shall require an employer to use an electronic employment verification system, including under the following circumstances:
(a) As a condition of receiving a government contract.
(b) As a condition of applying for or maintaining a business license.
(c) As a penalty for violating licensing or other similar laws.
“Employer” means an employer other than the state, or a city, county, city and county, or special district. Local government entities may still require other government entities to use E-Verify under A.B. 1236, and as required by federal law, or as a condition of receiving federal funds.
Disclaimer: The content of this post does not constitute direct legal advice and is designed for informational purposes only. Information provided through this website should never replace the need for involving informed counsel on your employment and immigration issues.