(a) It shall be unlawful for an employer or any other person or entity to engage in, or to direct 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 this code or by any local ordinance applicable to employees. Exercising a right protected by this code or local ordinance includes the following:
(1) Filing a complaint or informing any person of an employer's or other party's alleged violation of this code or local ordinance, so long as the complaint or disclosure is made in good faith.
(2) Seeking information regarding whether an employer or other party is in compliance with this code or local ordinance.
(3) Informing a person of his or her potential rights and remedies under this code or local ordinance, and assisting him or her in asserting those rights.
(b) (1) As used in this chapter, "unfair immigration-related practice" means any of the following practices, when undertaken for the retaliatory purposes prohibited by subdivision (a):
(A) Requesting more or different documents than are required under Section 1324a(b) of Title 8 of the United States Code, or a refusal to honor documents tendered pursuant to that section that on their face reasonably appear to be genuine.
(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 Section 1324a(b) of Title 8 of the United States Code, 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 authorities.
(2) "Unfair immigration-related practice" does not include conduct undertaken at the express and specific direction or request of the federal government.
(c) Engaging in an unfair immigration-related practice against a person within 90 days of the person's exercise of rights protected under this code or local ordinance applicable to employees shall raise a rebuttable presumption of having done so in retaliation for the exercise of those rights.
(d) (1) An employee or other person who is the subject of an unfair immigration-related practice prohibited by this section, or a representative of that employee or person, may bring a civil action for equitable relief and any applicable damages or penalties.
(2) Upon a finding by a court of applicable jurisdiction of a violation this section, upon application by a party or on its own motion, a court may do the following:
(A) For a first violation, order the appropriate government agencies to suspend all licenses that are held by the violating party for a period of up to 14 days. On receipt of the court's order and notwithstanding any other law, the appropriate agencies shall suspend the licenses according to the court's order.
(B) For a second violation, order the appropriate government agencies to suspend all licenses that are held by the violating party for a period of up to 30 days. On receipt of the court's order and notwithstanding any other law, the appropriate agencies shall immediately suspend the licenses.
(C) For a third or subsequent violation, order the appropriate government agencies to suspend for a period of up to 90 days all licenses that are held by the violating party. On receipt of the court's order and notwithstanding any other law, the appropriate agencies shall immediately suspend the licenses.
(3) In determining whether a suspension of all licenses is appropriate under this subdivision, the court shall consider whether the employer knowingly committed an unfair immigration-related practice, the good faith efforts of the employer to resolve any alleged unfair immigration-related practice after receiving notice of the violations, as well as the harm other employees of the employer, or employees of other employers on a multiemployer job site, will suffer as a result of the suspension of all licenses.
(4) An employee or other person who is the subject of an unfair immigration-related practice prohibited by this section, and who prevails in an action authorized by this section, shall recover his or her reasonable attorney's fees and costs, including any expert witness costs.
(e) As used in this chapter:
(1) "License" means any agency permit, certificate, approval, registration, or charter that is required by law and that is issued by any agency for the purposes of operating a business in this state and that is specific to the business location or locations where the unfair immigration-related practice occurred. "License" does not include a professional license.
(2) "Violation" means each incident when an unfair immigration-related practice was committed, without reference to the number of employees involved in the incident.
(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 79, Sec. 2.)