AB 1897 (text is here) This new law states that employers that use temp agencies ("labor contractors") are liable for the unpaid wages and liability for failure of the contractor to secure workers' compensation insurance. There are exceptions for certain types of labor. Additionally, this law applies only to employers of > 25 workers, who hire more than 5 temps from agencies at a time. So, for example, if your company hires a vendor to work in your manufacturing plant during a busy season. Then the vendor doesn't pay the employees. You, the employer, will be liable for those payments on the same basis as the vendor. Neat, right? Also, employers and vendors cannot contract away this liability in the service agreement.
AB 1660. (text is here). The California legislature is not done passing employment laws that make it illegal to take action against those applicants / employees who cannot lawfully be employed. See, if you intentionally employ people who are unauthorized to work, it can be a federal crime. If you don't employ them, you can get sued for violating California law. Another reason it's fun to be a California employer, eh gang?
The most recent law is AB 1660. This one addresses California's new driver's license that is specially created for "persons of undocumentation," or whatever the term is now. If you see such a driver's license, do not take negative action against an employee for having one. That's because:
It is a violation of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (Part 2.8 . . . for an employer or other covered person or entity, pursuant to Section 12940 of the Government Code and subdivision (v) of Section 12926 of the Government Code, to discriminate against a person because the person holds or presents a driver’s license issued pursuant to this section, or for an employer or other covered entity to require aSo, first, it's "national origin" discrimination to take action against someone who has one of these special driver's licenses. Therefore, if an employee can present sufficient documentation to satisfy the I-9 requirements, it's probably a FEHA violation to deny employment based on the fact that the employee cannot establish the bona fides needed for a "regular" driver's license.
person to present a driver’s license, unless possessing a driver’s license is required by law or is required by the employer and the employer’s requirement is otherwise permitted by law. Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit or expand an employer’s authority to require a person to possess a driver’s license.
Second, it's illegal to ask to see a driver's license, unless the employer requires the employee to have one. So: It's probably best not to inspect an employee's driver's license for driving authorization until after the employee is hired.
The law also provides that driver's license information is confidential. That means it should not be copied and routinely given out. The law does not designate personnel files as confidential, but they are treated as such to protect employees' privacy. So, there's an argument that third party subpoenas for personnel records should not mandate automatic disclosure of driver's licenses unless there is a sufficiently important reason.
That all said, this law recognizes that the employer has the right to obtain proper authorization for an employee to work, including proper documentation to support an I-9 Form. The law also says it's not a violation to enforce the IRCA by refusing to hire someone who cannot pass the I-9 Form requirements. So, there's that.