Sacramento, CA — A new bill will make it illegal for employers to misuse deportation laws by reporting workers to the immigrations authorities in retaliation for the worker filing a work related complaint.
If Senate Bill 666 passes it will be illegal to report or threaten to report a worker’s immigration status, or that of their family, in retaliation for an employee that files a report of unsafe working conditions or sexual harassment. Under this measure, employers and businesses could have their license suspension or revoked.
Senate Pro Tem Darrel Steinberg authored the bill and says retaliation is the worst form of worker discrimination because it compounds the underlying act.
Steinberg says, “The underlying act may be a wage violation or may be a lack of workers safety. When a working person wants to file a complaint or speak up and is dissuaded from doing so because they fear they are going to be deported. That’s what this bill seeks to prevent.”
Current law allows workers to complain to the state if they are underpaid or working in unsafe conditions, but there is no protection against retaliation from an employer. The bill passed the State Senate 31-7, it will now go to the State Assembly to be voted on.