California labor laws are designed to protect all workers, regardless of immigration status. But worker advocates say it’s tough to enforce those laws in the underground economy.
Caitlin Vega is with the California Labor Federation. Vega says she frequently hears about employers using immigration consequences as a tool for intimidation to keep workers from talking about workplace violations.
“It’s really heartbreaking to talk to workers who are faced with this," says Vega.
“The Hernandez bill creates this category of unfair immigration-related retaliation with a specific penalty," says Vega. "The Steinberg bill actually also extends to attorneys who participate in these kinds of threats.”
Attorneys could face suspension or disbarment while employers could be fined up to $10,000.
Some business groups like the California Chamber of Commerce say employers shouldn’t be penalized for the actions of rogue supervisors.
More New Laws
Victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking in California no longer have to worry about being fired or discriminated against at their workplace under a new state law now in effect.
With all the new laws taking effect in California this year we wanted a quick and fun way to share the stories with our listeners. Explore the new legislation from teen drivers to immigration within this interactive graphic.
Children in California can now have more than two legal parents.
A sixteen-year-old California student was a driving force behind a new state law aimed at improving school for transgender students.
Craft breweries and liquor distillers in California could get shots of new business as a result of two new state laws taking effect in 2014 - and beer and liquor drinkers will likely be happy as well.