What are the penalties for hiring undocumented workers in California?


undocumented workers in California can result in severe penalties for employers. The state of California has implemented strict laws and regulations to deter the employment of unauthorized individuals. Employers who violate these laws may face both civil and criminal penalties.

Civil Penalties


Employers can be fined for each unauthorized worker hired. The fines range from $2,000 to $10,000 per employee for the first violation, and from $5,000 to $25,000 per employee for subsequent violations.

Suspension or Revocation of Business License

Employers may have their business license suspended or revoked for knowingly employing undocumented workers.

Ineligibility for Public Contracts

Employers who violate the law may be disqualified from bidding on or receiving public contracts for a period of up to three years.

Criminal Penalties

Misdemeanor Charges

Employers who knowingly and willingly hire undocumented workers can face misdemeanor charges. If convicted, they may be subject to imprisonment for up to six months and/or fines ranging from $2,000 to $5,000 per employee.

Felony Charges

In cases where employers engage in a pattern or practice of knowingly hiring undocumented workers, they may face felony charges. If convicted, they may be subject to imprisonment for up to three years and/or fines ranging from $5,000 to $10,000 per employee.

Additional Consequences

Legal Liability

Employers may be held legally liable for any injuries or damages suffered by undocumented workers while on the job, even if they were hired illegally.

Loss of Reputation

Employers who hire undocumented workers may face negative publicity and damage to their reputation, which can have long-term consequences for their business.

It is important for employers in California to comply with immigration and employment laws to avoid these penalties and ensure a legal workforce. Employers should verify the work eligibility of all employees by completing Form I-9 and maintaining proper documentation.

  • July 7, 2023