The burden of proof for having payed an employee should be on the employer. The burden of proof for being in the employ of a particular employer should be on the employee making the claim. Proof could be a video of the employer giving an employee work instructions, possibly with some indication of the date (newspaper in the shot) so we know it took place after the law took effect.
And in my opinion, the employer should be held responsible for supporting the employee going forward, and not necessarily retroactively.
The only case I see where there are hints of a 5th amendment issue would assume #1 that we know that the employee is an illegal immigrant. So for now I'll grant that assumption. And it would also assume #2 that whatever evidence the employer has of having paid minimum wage also incriminates them as having known that the employee they were paying was illegal, which is a bigger assumption, but I'll also grant that assumption for the moment. Even under these circumstances, the employer has two choices: provide no evidence and accept the default/de facto consequences of hiring an illegal immigrant if that can be proven based on the evidence of others, or provide the evidence to reduce their responsibility to the employee, if it shows they were paying minimum wage (which I suspect would not often be the case anyway). If that's still a 5th amendment issue (having to make that choice before their guilt is determined), then split the case in 2 and allow them to provide that evidence after their guilt of knowingly hiring an illegal immigrant is determined from others' evidence as a way to reduce the consequences. And those consequences would be support the immigrant until they voluntarily leave or gain legal status if minimum wage was not being paid. If it was being paid, then the consequences would be negligible? I'm open to suggestions here, but curious to know what kind of incentives it would produce if the consequences in that case were nothing (no deportation, no alimony-like arrangement, nothing). One might think all sorts of arrangements might be made to get around immigration laws to let people legally work here, but if you have to pay minimum wage anyway, how many people would want to participate in that on our end?
If it starts out as purely a minimum wage issue I guess there's the possibility that the evidence the employer might provide could incriminate them not only as having employed the person, but indicate that the person they were employing is an illegal immigrant, but I'm not clear why that would ever be proof of that. Why does the employer's evidence of payment entail evidence of having knowingly paid an illegal immigrant? Keywords there being "knowingly" and "illegal".
> The employer wouldn't be prosecuted based on their evidence so there would be no 5th amendment issues.
You are clearly talking out of your ass, so I'm not going to waste too much time here. Outside of explicit immunity for employing an illegal immigrant and defaulting on payroll taxes and other various responsibilities, it absolutely would be protected by the 5th amendment.
I confess I neglected to put my usual disclaimer of "this is not a statement of fact, but of my understanding extrapolating logically from what I do understand," and I let everything ride on my "fantasy land" comment (because typing long articles from a cell phone is a pain). But if you have a moment to enlighten me, hopefully I can extrapolate better in the future. I thought the 5th amendment protected you from providing self-incriminating evidence. And I thought I was talking here about the inability to provide supporting evidence (not incriminating evidence). If someone has evidence against you of illegal activity, isn't it your responsibility to provide evidence to the contrary, and if you have none, then the evidence against you that *does* exist is enough to incriminate you on its own? I do not see that as having anything to do with the 5th amendment.
> If you can't provide evidence of legal employment, then you suffer the consequences of illegal employment.
Are you a complete moron? If I go to the Feds and tell them I worked for you and you paid me less than min wage, can you prove I didn't? Is your failure to produce documentation proof that you paid me less than min wage? I never worked for you, so obviously you can't produce documents showing that you paid me more than min wage.
This is where I think you missed my comment "Surprise inspections may not be the only way or best way to prove that employees are there at the behest of the employer. But I think that's *all* that needs to be proven once the employer fails to provide evidence of legal employment." In other words, the employer is not guilty just because someone claims they were working for them and they had no records of payment. There's still the need to prove that the employer was in on the deal. Is there something I should have said to make that more clear, or am I still missing something? It seems that exactly answers the point you think I missed here.