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Declaration of Rights Regardless of Immigration Status Added to Existing Employment Laws

  • October 3, 2002

Senate Bill 1818 ensures that the employment protections, rights, and remedies available under California state law apply to individuals regardless of their immigration status. For the purpose of enforcing state labor, employment, civil rights and employee housing laws, immigration is irrelevant for determining liability. This new law adds a declaratory statement to this effect to existing state codes covering employment.

California Senate Bill 1818

Purpose: To declare the protections afforded to individuals employed in the state of California regarding their rights and remedies under state labor laws are not diminished by their immigration status.

Effective Date: January 1, 2003.

Consequences: SB 1818 is meant to clarify the manner in which California state labor law will be enforced subsequent to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Hoffman Plastic Compound Inc. v. NLRB, 122 S.Ct. 1275 (2002). In Hoffman, the Court ruled immigration policy prohibited an award of back pay to an undocumented worker who was not legally authorized to work in the United States. Contrary to this ruling, SB 1818 aims to make clear that all protections, rights, and remedies are indeed available to all state residents who have applied for employment, or are employed, regardless of their immigrant status. This new law underscores the importance of compliance with the Immigration Reform and Control Act, which mandates that employers complete the INS Form I-9 requirements for all employees.


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