published on July 12, 2018 - 5:26 PM
Written by Gabriel Dillard

Business regulations come in all shapes in sizes in the Golden State, and from every direction, including Sacramento and Washington, D.C.

The roadmap to compliance for small business owners is fraught with obstacles. Adding to the challenge, sometimes governmental bodies have rules that come into direct conflict with each other. There’s no more pertinent example than California’s “sanctuary state” laws.

On the books as of Jan. 1, AB 450 requires employers to limit federal immigration agents’ access to worksite and employee records. It also requires employers to give notice to employees when the government requests records such as I-9 forms.

As reported by a California Chamber of Commerce headline, a federal district judge last week put parts of that immigration law “on ICE.”

Specifically, the law bars employers from allowing enforcement agents from entering nonpublic work areas with a warrant. It also restricts access to company records without a subpoena or judicial warrants. Employers violating these provisions face fines of up to $10,000.

The judge’s ruling blocks these provisions from being enforced against private sector businesses. More importantly, the $10,000 fine goes away.

The federal government and the state continue to be locked in litigation over California’s sanctuary state laws. And while this ruling is only a preliminary injunction, it’s still an encouraging sign that the state’s employers won’t be the sacrificial goat as the battle over immigration rages.

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