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Federal Inspections Notice
Effective June 6, 2019, Oregon SB 370 requires employers to notify employees of an upcoming inspection by a federal agency of the records of forms and any other documentation used by the employer to verify employee identity and employment eligibility. 

Unless prohibited by federal law, employers must provide notice of the inspection to employees within three business days of receiving a notice from the federal agency.

BOLI has provided a template that employers may use to provide the required notice in the following languages:
Distribution of the notification requires that employers: 
  • Post the notice in a conspicuous and accessible location, in English and in the language the employer typically uses to communicate with the employees; and 
  • Make reasonable attempts to individually distribute notifications to employees in the employee’s preferred language.
At a minimum, the notice must include:
  • A copy of the federal agency’s notice of inspection received by the employer; 
  • The date of the inspection; (BOLI’s template also includes options for indicating whether the inspection will be onsite or off-site)
  • To the extent the employer knows, the scope of the federal agency’s inspection; 
  • The employer’s obligations with respect to providing information within the scope of the federal agency’s notice of inspection; and 
  • A telephone number, prescribed by the Bureau of Labor and Industries, for a hotline operated by an organization that provides information and advocacy related to immigrant and refugee workers’ rights. BOLI has selected Portland Immigrant Rights Coalition at 1-888-622-1510 for this purpose.
Frequently asked questions

Q. Federal agencies aren’t known for providing advance notice of their inspections. How do I comply with this new law?

A. A federal agency may make it impossible to provide advance notice of an inspection by dropping in or giving short-term notice. Oregon employers simply need to provide notice to their employees within three business days of receiving notice from the federal agency, regardless of the actual inspection date. 

Q. Our facility employs literally hundreds of people. Providing this notice, plus a copy of the federal inspection notice individually seems like a lot – is there an undue hardship exemption?

A. The statute does not provide any exemptions to the requirement to post the notifications and make reasonable attempts to individually distribute notifications to employees. 

Q. What constitutes “reasonable attempts” to distribute the notice individually, and does that still apply if the employee’s preferred language is English?

A. A reasonable attempt would likely depend on the specifics of your workplace and how you typically communicate with your employees. It’s safe to say no one expects employers to deliver a timely notice by hand to each employee’s home address. By the same token, quietly posting the notice to the company intranet when your workforce does not access the system on daily basis would seem unlikely to meet the requirement of a “reasonable attempt.” 

Assuming an employer regularly uses these means of communication, examples of reasonable attempts to distribute the notice might include: 
  • Email;
  • Paystub (within the three-day notice period);
  • Text message w/ photos of documents attached; or
  • Notice to employee to pick-up in office.
In any case, the requirement to make reasonable attempts to provide notice applies to all employees, not just those who prefer a language other than English.

Q. What penalties are associated with failure to provide this notice?

A. State law requires employers to provide this notification, but currently there are no actionable penalties for failure to do so.  Note, however, that federal law does require you to comply with federal I-9 audit requests. 

Q.  What ​federal laws would prohibit an employer from complying with the notification requirements?

A. There is no current federal law prohibiting an employer from complying with the notification requirements. Contact BOLI if you have any questions on proposed federal law that you believe may affect your ability to comply.

August 2019

DISCLAIMER 
Nothing on this website is intended as legal advice.  Any responses to specific questions are based on the facts as we understand them, and not intended to apply to any other situations.  This communication is not an agency order.  If you need legal advice, please consult an attorney.  We attempt to update the information on this website as soon as practicable following changes or developments in the laws and rules affecting Oregon employers, but we make no warranties or representations, express or implied, about whether the information provided is current.  We urge you to check the applicable statutes and administrative rules yourself and to consult with legal counsel prior to taking action that may invoke employee rights or employer responsibilities or omitting to act when required by law to act.
 
TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE FOR EMPLOYERS
800 NE OREGON STREET, STE 1045
PORTLAND, OR  97232
971-673-0824
 
 
THIS INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE IN AN ALTERNATE FORMAT​