This week the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Legal Arizona Workers Act (LAWA) is not preempted by the federal (IRCA). Rather, the court held, LAWA falls within the scope of the “savings clause” of IRCA’s express preemption provision as a “licensing law” and is therefore enforceable. A coalition of human rights and employers’ groups challenged the law on several grounds, all of which were rejected by the Ninth Circuit. To read the court’s opinion, click here: Chicanos Por La Causa v. Napolitano.
LAWA allows Arizona state courts to suspend or revoke business licenses of employers who intentionally employ "unauthorized aliens," and also required Arizona employers to use the E-Verify System to check applicants’ eligibility for employment. Arizona employers should review this Notice to Employers from the Arizona State Legislature for more information.
Now that the Arizona law has been upheld (and assuming the U.S. Supreme Court does not hear further challenges), the Stoel Rives World of Employment expects anti-immigration groups to push for similar laws in other states.