Governor Brown recently signed into legislation AB 1897. With this new law, California will have some of the country’s most comprehensive protections for temporary workers. The new law is designed to protect workers, including factory assemblers, hotel maids, warehouse workers, farm laborers, janitors, and food processors who often work for years at the same company, but are paid less and denied benefits because they are employed by a labor contractor, such as a temp agency.
The new law will hold companies legally responsible if the temp agencies and subcontractors they hire put workers in harm’s way or fail to pay them correctly. Temporary workers are more likely to be injured on the job than regular workers. Employers who utilize the services of labor contractors or temp agencies now will share with these companies all civil legal responsibility and civil liability for the payment of wages and the failure to obtain valid workers’ compensation coverage.
The law 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. Under the new law, companies could face fines if the temp agencies they use or their subcontractors fail to pay employee wages. The law affords companies a grace period to ensure temp agencies comply.
If your company contracts with temp agencies or labor contractors, and you would like to know more about your legal responsibilities to these individuals who perform work for your company, please contact the employment law attorneys at Schneiders & Associates, L.L.P.