The California Senate is considering SB-1102 deceptively titled “Employers: Labor Commissioner: required disclosures.” What this Bill would do, in part, is require H-2A employers to compensate employees at their regular rate of pay for: “time spent while being transported by the employer or its agents from the housing provided by the employer or its agents to the employer’s or agent’s worksite.” You can read the text of the Bill here.
The Bill is supported by the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation (“CRLA”), Farmworker Justice, United Farm Workers, Centro de los Derechos del Migrante, Inc., among other migrant worker groups. The Bill is opposed by the following: Agricultural Council of California, California Association of Winegrape Growers, California Chamber of Commerce, California Farm Bureau Federation, California Fresh Fruit Association, Family Winemakers of California, Ventura County Agricultural Association, and Western Growers Association.
The bill is an end run around the Morillion v. Royal Packing case, which held that unless an employer requires employees to use its transportation, time employees spend on employer-provided transportation is NOT compensable. This position was recently reaffirmed this year by the California Supreme Court in the case of Frlekin v. Apple, Inc., discussed in a prior eblast here.
COUNSEL TO MANAGEMENT:
The industry needs to make its voice heard in opposition to this Bill. In addition to the travel time component, it adds more red tape and confusion to an already heavily-regulated system and will provide fodder for more Plaintiffs actions against employers. Encourage your Associations to voice opposition to this Bill—contact your State Senators and express your concerns.