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
(AP) -- California's minimum wage is rising to $9 per hour, providing workers with the first increase since 2008.
California state employees will be getting the first pay raise many of them have had in years starting Tuesday.
A law that extends California’s paid family leave benefit to people caring for grandchildren, grandparents, siblings and in-laws will go into effect July 1. The original law took effect on the same day 10 years ago.
California voters will decide this fall whether some low-level drug and theft offenses should be tried as misdemeanors instead of felonies. Meanwhile, the Legislature and Board of Equalization are pushing policies to help the food industry.
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.
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