Did you know that as of January 1, 2020, Oregon law requires employers to provide advance notice to employees of an upcoming I-9 inspection by federal authorities? Senate Bill 370 requires employers to provide employees with notice of an inspection within 3 days of receiving the notice. Generally, this will result in advance notice to employees, except where an employer has less than 3 days between receiving the notice and the inspection or where the inspection is not pre-noticed, i.e., a surprise visit by federal authorities.
Employers must post the notice and make reasonable attempts to individually distribute the notice which may include distributing notices by email, pay stub (if timing of distribution complies with the 3 day requirement), text message with photos of documents, or text/email/voicemail asking employees to pick-up the notice at work. BOLI’s website includes templates for notice in multiple languages. As BOLI explains, at a minimum, the notice must include:
- A copy of the federal agency’s notice of inspection received by the employer;
- The date of the inspection;
- To the extent the employer knows, the scope of the federal agency’s inspection;
- The employer’s obligations with respect to providing information within the scope of the federal agency’s notice of inspection; and
- A telephone number, prescribed by the Bureau of Labor and Industries, for a hotline operated by an organization that provides information and advocacy related to immigrant and refugee workers’ rights. (BOLI has selected Portland Immigrant Rights Coalition at 1-888-622-1510 for this purpose).
SB 370 does not provide for penalties for failure to provide notice and, as of now, SB 370 has not been challenged by federal authorities. This is likely because the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court ruling that blocked California from enforcing the penalty provisions in California’s Immigrant Protection Act (AB 450) which also requires employers to provide advance notice of I-9 inspections to employees and because the Justice Department’s attempt to block the notice provisions in AB 450 failed.