Governor Signs Bill to Protect Workers From Dishonest Labor Contractors
September 29, 2014 - Governor Jerry Brown has signed important legislation to hold businesses liable when labor contractors supply workers and then fail to adhere to rules to protect workers. Assembly Bill 1897 by Assembly Member Roger Hernandez, D-West Covina, states that businesses that use labor contractors to supply workers to do the regular and customary work of the business, on the companies,’ premises or worksite, must share liability for unpaid wages, unsafe working environments, and lack of workers’ compensation.
The State Building and Construction Trades Council (SBCTC) had urged Governor Brown to sign the bill. “Across our economy, major companies are using third party labor contractors to supply workers with no strings attached. Contractors use temporary workers to cut costs and undercut competitors. The advantage for these companies is not just lower wages and no benefits, but the use of a labor contractor can often shield the company from any responsibility when workers are cheated or injured on the job,” SBCTC’s letter to the Governor explained.
SBCTC President Robbie Hunter commented: “There is no good reason why workers should be allowed to be exploited just because they are supplied by a contractor, and no good reason why some businesses, but not others, should escape liability for breaking those rules. AB 1897 closes that loophole. This bill was sponsored by the California Labor Federation and the California Teamsters Public Affairs Council, and strongly supported by the Building Trades.”
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