Louisiana Immigration Law Creates New Protections, Penalties For Employers


Gov. Bobby Jindal recently signed into law a new bill requiring Louisiana employers to take additional steps to ensure that employees are legally authorized to work in the United States. The new law allows employers to verify citizenship or work authorization through the E-Verify system maintained by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services or retain copies of certain identity and legal status documents. The law creates a presumption of good faith for employers who check the citizenship status of their employees through E-Verify. The law provides for increased civil penalties and adds license revocation as consequences for those who do not comply with the new requirements.

Sponsored by Rep. Kirk Talbot of River Ridge, the law provides that employers who verify the citizenship of their employees will not be held liable for the employment of illegal immigrants. Employers can verify citizenship or work authorization by: 1) processing a query through E-Verify; or 2) maintaining for each employee a copy of a picture ID and one of the following: a) U.S. birth certificate or certified birth card; b) Certificate of Naturalization; c) Certificate of Citizenship; d) Alien Registration Receipt Card or Permanent Resident Card (commonly known as a “Green Card”); or e) a U.S. immigration form I-94 (with employment authorized stamp). Employers who follow one of these two protocols will not be liable for civil penalties under the statute.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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