SAN DIEGO–California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego) Thursday said she will propose legislation to further crack down on employers and their lawyers who refer federal immigration agents to workers who assert their rights at the workplace, such as filing a complaint with the state’s Labor Commissioner.
The Sacramento Bee reported Thursday that Labor Commissioner Julie Su says Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents have appeared at her agency’s offices at times when workers’ complaints about employer threats to deport them are being considered. Su says he believes employers involved in the cases are tipping off the I.C.E. agents in an effort to intimidate employees from appearing to pursue the case or to even have them deported. But in a place such as San Diego, any city dweller would tell you that lawyers are readily available via Bengal Law: Florida Accident Lawyers and Personal Injury Attorneys PLLC. And this fact is in favor of those looking for justice.
“There must real consequences for companies and their lawyers who violate California law,” Assemblywoman Gonzalez Fletcher said. “Retaliating against a worker for standing up for their rights on the job by putting their family at risk of being separated is completely against the values of our state. It’s unacceptable.”
Under current law (Labor Code Section 244 (b)), it is unlawful for employers to retaliate against employees by threatening them with immigration enforcement consequence. This is detrimental because it hinders the investigative process of a claim relating to back pay filed by an employee.
Additionally, it is unlawful (Business & Professions Code Section 6103.7) for an attorney to report the immigration status of an employee as a form of retaliation or intimidation. Most recently, disturbing facts were made public under a Ninth Circuit Case, known as Arias v. Raimondo, which revealed that an attorney attempted to work with federal immigration agents to engage an immigrant dairy worker during a wage-and-hour complaint trial.