ATTORNEYS AT LAW
The Governor recently signed into law the Legal Arizona Workers Act, one of the toughest laws of its kind in the country. The new law, which becomes effective on January 1, 2008, prohibits any employer from intentionally or knowingly employing an “unauthorized alien.” It applies to both planned communities and condominium associations as potential employers.
The law covers any individual or organization that transacts business in this state, has a license issued by an agency in this state, and employs one or more individuals who perform services. “Employee” is defined broadly as any person who performs employment services for an employer pursuant to an employment relationship.
A first violation will result in a probation period of 3 years (for knowing violations) or 5 years (for intentional violations); mandatory quarterly reports on all new employees throughout the probationary period; and either (a) possible suspension of business licenses for up to 10 days (for knowing violations) or (b) mandatory suspension of business licenses for a minimum of 10 days (for intentional violations). A second violation during the probation period will result in the permanent revocation of all “licenses,” including the employer’s articles of incorporation.
Beginning January 1, 2008, every employer must verify the employment eligibility of new employees through the federal government’s Basic Pilot Program (also known as the Employment Eligibility Verification Program). Information about registering for the program can be found online at the web site of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (www.uscis.gov). Fortunately, if an employer has verified the legal status of the employee under investigation, there is a rebuttable presumption that the employer did not intentionally or knowingly employ the unauthorized alien.
Finally, on or before October 1, 2007, the Arizona Department of Revenue will send notices to all employers required to withhold taxes, explaining the new law and how to register in the Basic Pilot Program.
The information contained in this Homeowners Association Tip of the Week© is for informational purposes only and is not specific legal advice or a substitute for specific legal counsel. Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.
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This article is posted with permission from Ekmark & Ekmark, L.L.C., Attorneys at Law.