BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                             Senator Tony Mendoza, Chair
                                2015 - 2016  Regular 

          Bill No:               SB 432       Hearing Date:    April 8,  
          |Author:    |Mendoza                                              |
          |Version:   |February 25, 2015                                    |
          |Urgency:   |No                     |Fiscal:    |No               |
          |Consultant:|Alma  Perez-Schwab                                   |
          |           |                                                     |
                           Subject:  Public works:  aliens

          KEY ISSUE
          Should the outdated and derogatory reference to foreign-born  
          individuals as "aliens" be repealed from the Labor Code? 

           Under existing law,  it is illegal for a person or other entity  
          to "knowingly" hire, recruit, or refer for employment an  
          unauthorized individual or any individual without complying with  
          specified employment verification procedures. Among other  
          things, the law requires employers to verify that every new hire  
          is either a U.S. citizen or authorized to work in the United  
          States.  Existing federal law requires that all employers have  
          new employees complete form I-9, Employment Eligibility  
          Verification, upon hire.  

           Under existing California law  , all protections, rights, and  
          remedies available under state law, except any reinstatement  
          remedy prohibited by federal law, are available to all  
          individuals regardless of immigration status who have applied  
          for employment, or who are or have been employed in the state.   
          In addition, for purposes of enforcing state labor and  
          employment laws, a person's immigration status is irrelevant to  
          the issue of liability or in proceedings, where no inquiry is  
          permitted into a person's immigration status except where the  


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          person seeking the inquiry has shown, by clear and convincing  
          evidence, that the inquiry is necessary in order to comply with  
          federal immigration law.  (Labor Code 1171.5; Civic Code 3339;  
          Health and Safety Code 24000; Government Code 7285) 
          Existing law  prohibits an employer from engaging in (or  
          directing another person or entity to engage in) unfair  
          immigration-related practices against any person for the purpose  
          of, or with the intent of, retaliating against any person for  
          exercising any right protected under Labor Code or by any local  
          ordinance applicable to employees. "Unfair immigration-related  
          practice" means any of the following practices when undertaken  
          for retaliatory purposes (Labor Code 1019): 
             a)   Requesting more or different employment verification  
               documents than are required under law, or refusing to honor  
               documents that on their face reasonably appear to be  
             b)   Using the federal E-Verify system to check the  
               employment authorization status of a person at a time or in  
               a manner not required under federal law, or not authorized  
               under any memorandum of understanding governing the use of  
               the federal E-Verify system. 
             c)   Threatening to file or the filing of a false police  
               report, or a false report or complaint with any state or  
               federal agency.
             d)   Threatening to contact or contacting immigration  
           This Bill  would delete the definition of "alien" to describe any  
          person who is not a born or fully naturalized citizen of the  
          United States.  

          1.  Need for this bill?

            In 1937, the Legislature enacted various provisions regarding  
            the employment of "aliens", who are defined as any person who  
            is not a born or fully naturalized citizen of the United  
            States. The Legislature repealed most of these Labor Code  
            statutes in 1970. Unfortunately, the definition for "alien"  
            was not repealed and is still found in the Labor Code.  Under  
            current law, all employment protections, rights, and remedies  
            available under state law, except as prohibited by federal  


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            law, are available to all individuals regardless of  
            immigration status. Over the last few years, several bills  
            have been passed and signed into law which has strengthened  
            labor law protections for immigrant workers. SB 432 would  
            continue these efforts by repealing from the Labor Code the  
            term "alien" as a definition for an immigrant individual. 

          2.  Proponent Arguments :
            According to the author, the United States is a country of  
            immigrants who not only form an integral part of our culture  
            and society, but are also critical contributors to our  
            economic success. Immigrants work and pay taxes as well as  
            create new products, businesses, and technologies which  
            generate jobs for all Americans. According to the Bureau of  
            Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2013, there were 25.3 million  
            foreign-born persons in the U.S. labor force, comprising 16.3  
            percent of the total (Bureau of Labor Statistics,  
            "Foreign-Born Workers: Labor Force Characteristics in 2013").  
            The BLS also found that foreign-born workers were more likely  
            than native-born workers to be employed in service  
            occupations.  Furthermore, the U.S. Department of Treasure  
            notes that immigrants own 10.8 percent of all firms with  
            employees, providing job opportunities for thousands of  
            Americans.  Proponents aruge that California is among the top  
            destination states for immigrants in the U.S. and given the  
            abundant evidence of their many contributions, the author  
            believes it is imperative that any derogative references to  
            foreign-born individuals be repealed from state law. 

          3.  Opponent Arguments  :

            None received. 

          California Applicants' Attorney Association
          California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation 
          None on File.


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