Justo Gonzalez Participates in Thought Leader Forum on Immigration & Employment Law

Mar 27, 2017

Related Practice: Employment

Shareholder Justo Gonzalez took part in the Puget Sound Business Journal’s Thought Leader Forum on Immigration & Employment Law Under the New Administration.

Justo and the other panelists shared their perspectives on what employers and their employees should prepare for under the Trump Administration. The conversation covered hot topics such as immigration enforcement and federal employment discrimination laws.

"The enforcement priorities expressed by the new Administration have raised a host of concerns here and in Eastern Washington's agricultural community. Each community is asking what the changes mean and what the enforcement priorities will be," Justo noted.

In the wake of recent workplace raids by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (ICE), the panel suggested some best practices that employers could follow.

"If ICE shows up, an employer is obligated to not interfere. Do not hide employees. Have the employee you have designated as the point person identify the lead agent and ask them for the purpose of the visit," Justo cautioned. Employers also need to be vigilant about educating their employees on diversity issues, especially so-called backlash discrimination against Muslims.

"The EEOC (Equal Employment and Opportunity Commission) prohibits a backlash against Muslims and people perceived as Muslim," he explained. "This is a priority of the EEOC and of our own Attorney General in Washington whose responsibilities include enforcement of state and federal anti-discrimination laws. You must guard against backlash and discrimination or you risk your company becoming the subject of complaints and potentially enforcement activities."