As an update to the pending legislation articles previously sent by SLG, California Governor Jerry Brown has signed a flurry of bills that will directly affect agricultural employers.
Governor Brown SIGNED The Following Bills
AB 1897 Labor Contracting: Client Liability
Hernandez (D-West Covina)
SUMMARY: This bill requires a client employer to share with a labor contractor all civil legal responsibility and civil liability for all workers supplied by that labor contractor for the payment of wages and the failure to obtain valid workers' compensation coverage. The bill prohibits a client employer from shifting to the labor contractor legal duties or liabilities under workplace safety provisions with respect to workers provided by the labor contractor.
SB 477 Foreign Labor Contractors: Registration
SUMMARY: This bill requires the definition of a foreign labor contractor to mean a person who performs foreign labor contracting activity, as defined. The bill, on and after July 1, 2016, will require a foreign labor contractor to register with the Labor Commissioner and will impose certain conditions for registration, including payment of specified fees. The bill will further require persons knowingly using the services of foreign labor contractors to obtain foreign workers to disclose specified information to the commissioner.
AB 1660 Driver's Licenses: Non-discrimination
SUMMARY: Existing law requires the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to issue an original driver's license to a person who is unable to submit satisfactory proof that the applicant's presence in the United States is authorized under federal law if he or she meets all other qualifications for licensure and provides satisfactory proof to the department of his or her identity and California residency.
This bill additionally makes it a violation of the California Fair Housing and Employment Act (FEHA) for an employer or other covered entity to discriminate against an individual because he or she holds or presents a driver's license issued under these provisions or to require a person to present a driver's license, except as specified.
The bill makes conforming changes to FEHA to specify that discrimination on the basis of national origin includes, but is not limited to, discrimination on the basis of possessing a driver's license granted under these provisions.
The bill also prohibits a governmental authority, or agent of a governmental authority, or person acting on behalf of a governmental authority, from discriminating against an individual because he or she holds or presents a license issued pursuant to those provisions. The bill provides that an action taken by an employer to comply with any requirement or prohibition under the federal Immigration and Nationality Act is not a violation of law.
SB 1087 Farm Labor Contractors: Sexual Harassment
SUMMARY: This bill prohibits a license to operate as a farm labor contractor from being granted to a person who, within the preceding 3 years, has been found by a court or an administrative agency to have committed sexual harassment of an employee, or who, within the preceding 3 years, employed any supervisory employee whom he or she knew or should have known has been found by a court or an administrative agency, within the preceding 3 years of his or her employment with the applicant, to have committed sexual harassment of an employee.
This bill also authorizes the Labor Commissioner to revoke, suspend, or refuse to renew a farm labor contractor's license if the licensee has been found by a court or an administrative agency to have committed sexual harassment of an employee, or has employed a supervisory employee whom he or she knew or should have known has been found by a court or an administrative agency, within the preceding 3 years, to have committed sexual harassment of an employee.
This bill increases the license fee paid by an applicant from $500 to $600, thereby making an appropriation. The bill requires the amount attributable to the fee increase to be expended by the Labor Commissioner to fund the Farm Labor Contractor Enforcement Unit and the Farm Labor Contractor License Verification Unit.
Governor Brown VETOED The Following Bills
SB 25 Agricultural Labor Relations: Dispute Resolution
SUMMARY: Existing law provides that within 60 days of a decision by the Agricultural Labor Relations Board taking effect, a party may file an action to enforce the order, using specified procedures. Existing law provides that during the pendency of any appeal of the board's order, the order may not be stayed unless the appellant demonstrates that he or she is likely to prevail on the merits and that he or she will be irreparably harmed by implementation of the board's order.
This bill would have provided that an action to enforce the order of the board may be filed within 60 days whether or not the other party is seeking judicial review of the order. The bill would also have increased the evidentiary threshold for the court to grant a stay of the board's order and require the court to make written findings supporting any order granting a stay of the order during the pendency of the appeal.
Counsel to Management: Today is the last day for the Government to act. For questions regarding the new California legislation, please contact The Saqui Law Group.