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California Immigration Bill Creates Compliance Challenges, SHRM, ft. Katherine Catlos

Posted Apr 20, 2017

Katherine S. Catlos, managing partner of Kaufman Dolowich & Voluck, LLP in San Francisco, was quoted in SHRM’s article by Lisa Nagele-Piazza on the California Immigration bill. Employers would have to notify labor commissioner and employees about federal enforcement actions.

Do you know when you can refuse a federal agent’s request to review your records and when you can’t? In California, HR professionals may soon need to be able to make that distinction—fast.

The California Legislature is considering a bill that would place additional burdens on employers when they respond to the federal government’s immigration enforcement activities. The proposed law could cause confusion about how to comply with both state and federal law, employment attorneys told SHRM Online.

“Employers in California find themselves in a tug of war between the state and federal government, putting them in a difficult position of trying to comply with both state and federal law, which may conflict with each other,” said Katherine Catlos, an attorney with Kaufman Dolowich & Voluck in San Francisco. If enacted, she said, A.B. 450 would exacerbate that tug of war.

Key Points for Employers

If the California Legislature passes the bill and it’s signed by the governor, Catlos said, employers should consider the following steps when facing federal immigration enforcement actions:

  • Examine any warrant and make sure it is signed by the court.
  • Understand the scope of the warrant.
  • Avoid activities that could support a harboring charge, such as hiding employees, aiding in their escape from the premises, or providing false or misleading information.


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