Opportunity to Work Act Stalls in Assembly

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Friday Flurry: Updates on the News from This Week:

Opportunity to Work Act Stalls in Assembly

 By: Jason Yang

Assembly Bill 5 (“AB 5”), which sought to introduce the “Opportunity to Work Act” (“The Act”) has been put on hold.  The Act would have required employers with more than 10 employees to offer non-overtime hours to their non-exempt employees before hiring new employees or contracting with a staffing firm.  The Act was modeled on a San Jose ordinance that went into effect on March 13th and Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, who sponsored the bill, stated that they wanted to see how the San Jose ordinance fared before moving forward with the Act.

Employers can breathe a sigh of relief, for now.  However, employers should anticipate that some version of the Act will be resurrected in the coming years, and perhaps as early as next year, depending on how the San Jose ordinance is received.

DOL Announces It Will More Aggressively Confront Visa Program Fraud and Abuse

By: Rebecca Hause-Schultz
This week, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta announced that the DOL will more aggressively confront entities committing visa program fraud and abuse, including those employers taking advantage of the H-2A visa program. The news release issued by the DOL about the increased enforcement plan is available here. As part of the increased enforcement efforts, Secretary Acosta has directed the department’s Wage and Hour division to “use all its tools” in conducting civil investigations to enforce labor protections.
In the news release, the DOL highlighted that it has already begun increased enforcement measures; including obtaining an injunction against an Arizona farm that provided illegal and extremely substandard housing to H-2A workers.
The DOL’s increased enforcement plan could lead to delays in processing H-2A applications and in general more oversight. Employers who have questions about wage and hour considerations with H-2A labor or questions about the H-2A visa program should contact The Saqui Law Group.

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