AB 1660: Discrimination and Driver’s License Status

CATEGORY: Authored Articles
CLIENT TYPE: Public Employers, Public Safety
AUTHOR: Michael Youril
PUBLICATION: The Daily Journal
DATE: Jan 27, 2015

California law (AB 60) currently requires the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to issue a driver’s license to a person who is unable to submit satisfactory proof that his or her presence in the United States is authorized under federal law so long as the individual meets all other qualifications for a driver’s license and provides satisfactory proof to the DMV of their identity and California residency. However, the Federal Real ID Act of 2005 also requires that such a driver’s license identification that is not based on an individual’s actual U.S. citizenship or issued under these circumstances have a distinguishing feature and AB 60 included provisions to satisfy this federal law.

Following this, AB 1660 makes it a form of national origin discrimination under the Fair Employment Housing Act (FEHA) for public and private employers to discriminate against a person on the basis that they possess a driver’s license granted under AB 60. However, this bill clarifies that any action taken by an employer to comply with any requirement or prohibition under the Immigration and Nationality Act is not a violation of law. This would include any requirement to properly fill out an I-9 Employment Verification Form for employees.

AB 1660 also makes any driver’s license information obtained by an employer exempt from disclosure by the public employer under the California Public Records Act.

Although AB 1660 makes it unlawful to discriminate against an employee based on the fact that they hold a driver’s license issued where the individual cannot submit satisfactory proof that his or her presence is authorized under federal law, employers are still required to comply with federal law.

(AB 1660 amends Section 12926 of the Government Code and to amend Sections 1653.5, 12800.7, and 12801.9 of the Vehicle Code.)

Michael Youril co-authored “AB 1660: Discrimination and Driver’s License Status” in the January 6, 2015 issue of the Daily Journal. This article first appeared in the firm’s Legislative Roundup on December 9, 2014.