U.S. Law Center

Are undocumented immigrants protected from employer retaliation?

Living and working in the United States can be particularly challenging when you do not have a work visa or other proper documentation. Unfortunately, some employers have taken advantage of immigrants in this situation, even though the U.S. Department of Labor requires them to abide by certain labor laws regarding workplace safety, wage and hour laws and other fair employment practices. If you are an undocumented immigrant who is employed in Riverside or Orange County, California, you may be concerned that your employer will be take actions that lead to your deportation if you attempt to speak out against unfair practices.  

The National Law Review has reported on several Assembly and House Bills passed in California that are designed to protect undocumented immigrants from retaliation. According to state legislation, your employer is not allowed to contact immigration authorities or file complaints with law enforcement or state and federal agencies if you file a workplace complaint. Even threatening this type of action is a violation of your rights. These state laws are not affected by US Immigration law and have been upheld by the California Supreme Court.

An employer who violates your protections and rights as a worker in California faces a fine of $10,000 for every employee who is subjected to the retaliation. If the company continues to engage in unfair immigration-related actions, certain business licenses may be suspended in addition to the fines. This information about retaliation against undocumented immigrants is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended to be taken as legal advice.

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