I work for a Contractor in CA. The General Contractor on the project we are working under is requiring that we give them photo copies of our employees drivers license as well as copies of their personal utility bills for proof of residency. They are telling us that the Owner of the project is requiring this. The owner is a CA Public Works Agency and the project also has some federal funds involved. I have informed them that this is confidential and we cannot have copies of our employees id's floating about...is this right...is it legal for them to require this?
2 Answers from Attorneys
Well, you can keep it confidential and look for a new job, or you can comply as requested. Govt agencies and contractors are required to verify citizenship or legal residency, usually by demanding drivers license and green card and running an Immigration computerized InstaCheck. However, utility bills are not proof of legal residency, so they asked for something not valid. You need to understand, in general, unless an employee is civil service, in a union, or has a written employment contract, they are an 'at will' employee that can be disciplined or terminated any time for any reason, with or without ‘cause’, explanation or notice. That includes refusal as you propose.
Most likely you are working for a project for a public agency that has local-hire goals or even mandates that go along with the authorization for the project. Since there is very little oversight of the accuracy of drivers license addresses, it is perfectly normal to require both photo ID and something that is more likely to pin the person to the actual place of residence. This is pretty much identical to what is required to register kids for school. A lease or utility bill is standard to prove residency.