Approved by Governor Edmund “Jerry” Brown last September 28, the state of California will be expecting a new legislative bill entitled as the Assembly Bill No. 1897 (AB 1897) on the very first day of the approaching year of 2015. This newly approved law mainly targets the eradication of wage theft and other abuses that has been undertaken and practiced by unreasonable companies when dealing with human resources agencies and other labor contractors which are able to supply workers to them in prior years. The said unlawful actions are detailed as the failure to provide compensation insurance for workers, violating the existing laws concerning wage and hour and also the failure to withhold proper taxes.
In general, this subcontractor bill, upon effectivity, will start governing all employers of the state with various provisions which are carefully studied and composed to give ample protections towards these said employees. Some inclusions of this approved assembly include the following points:
- Sharing of all legal responsibility and liability should be done by all client employers with their respective human resources agencies and other labor contractors to ensure that all workers supplied by the said entities will receive the right amount of their wages as well as the compensation which is entitled to them.
- Client employers are not allowed to unfairly transfer all related legal duties that are administering the workplace safety provisions to these agencies and contractors with respect to the managed workers or employees.
- Impose that all client employers together with human resources agencies and labor contractors are not forbidden from mutually contracting for otherwise lawful remedies for actions which are against its provisions by other parties.
- Authorization of the Labor Commissioner, the Division of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the California Employment Development Department (CAEDD) to enforce the entire provisions of this assembly bill.
On the other hand, there are also some exclusions to consider when defining a client employer and also putting them into exemptions from all imposed liability under the discussed provisions of this subcontractor bill. To further clarify, these eliminations are applicable only with the following conditions and contracts. Some of these are:
- Business entities with less than 25 workers including the directly hired employees and also such companies with only 5 or fewer employees of which are provided by the said agencies and contractors at any given time.
- Motor carrier of property which also have engagements with another similar entity of which are also providing services with regards to transportation. Also, all employers that operate a third-party motor carrier are included in this specific point.
- Telephone companies, cable operators and direct-to-home satellite providers that build, install, maintain or even perform repair work under certain contracts. This is for as long as the name of the contractor is visible on the uniforms and vehicles of employees.
With greater liability for employers who will be committed with all abovementioned prohibitions of this newly approved law, the AB 2271, to combine with all existing employment laws, it is visibly true that all workers in the state of California are well taken care of by the government. True enough, there are still other assembly bills consisting of mandated paid sick leave for employees, volunteers and interns to receive protections against employee discrimination, requiring employers to organize training to their respective supervisors regarding sexual harassment addressed as an abusive conduct, retaliation victims to be entitled to claim civil penalties and more that are approved by Governor Brown.
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