FRESNO, Calif. – Update 7.20.16 – An anxiously awaited preliminary injunction hearing was held Monday and the Superior Court deferred its decision on the matter. That effectively solidified the July 28th deadline for California employers who have piece work employees to file their safe harbor intentions under the AB 1513 or piece rate law. There still could be a preliminary injunction issued and that’s possible this week, but there’s been no indication of a date to do that or how the court is leaning.
Datatech has created an add-on report in our payroll software that will help our clients review and calculate safe harbor restitution payments on both the ‘actual due’ and 4% methods. If you’d like more information on how to obtain this report, contact: Brian@DatatechAg.com or call us here.
Update 7.1.16 The Superior Court in Fresno has issued a temporary restraining order extending the deadline to sign up for the “safe harbor” provisions of AB 1513 to July 18, 2016. The Order also says that if the court decides not to issue a preliminary injunction on July 18, the July 1 safe harbor deadline will be extended July 28th.
The order was issued in the case of Nisei Farmers League v. California Labor and Workforce Development Agency, et al.
Experts have been saying that all employers should file for safe harbor by filling out the online form here by July 1. The extension also allows the court additional time to consider whether or not to issue a preliminary or permanent injunction, which would place the entire “safe harbor” scheme in doubt. But, if no injunction is issued on July 18, then the deadline will become July 28. Legal experts say that it’s not likely the court will further put the safe harbor scheme in jeopardy.
So here is what the upcoming preliminary hearing will consider on July 18, the court will look at whether the state of California will be enjoined from enforcing: the July 1, 2016, deadline to sign up for the “safe harbor” provision; the December 15, 2016, back payment deadline under Section 226.2(b)(4), thereby extending the deadline until 197 days after the preliminary injunction expires; and any requirements in sec. 226.2 dependent on the phrases “other non-productive time” or “directly related,” terms the plaintiff alleges are not adequately defined by section 226.2.
At any rate, it’s a breath of fresh air for a couple of weeks if an employer has not filed the online form stating its intentions under the safe harbor provision of AB 1513.
Datatech has created an add-on report in our software that will help our clients review and calculate safe harbor restitution payments on both the ‘actual due’ and 4% methods. If you’d like more information on how to obtain this report, contact: Brian@DatatechAg.com or call us here.
Update 6.27.16 A reminder that this Friday is July 1 and this date is significant. As we have reported here on DatatechAg.com, an employer declaring their ‘safe harbor’ intentions under AB 1513 by July 1 will provide most employers with a protection from class action lawsuits that may be brought to bear for failing to pay piece-rate employees separately for rest and recovery periods and other non-productive time.
Experts say the likelihood of class actions lawsuits occurring is a real possibility since the list of those employers that do submit a notice of their intention to make back payments is made public on the State of California Department of Industrial Relations website. If an employer is not on that public list, they could be targeted by class action lawyers.
Datatech has created an add-on report that will help our clients review and calculate safe harbor restitution payments on both the ‘actual due’ and 4% methods. If you’d like more information on how to obtain this report, contact: Brian@DatatechAg.com or call us here.
The July 1 deadline for employers to avail themselves under the safe harbor provisions of AB 1513 in California will be here before you know it. Legal experts say now is the time to be working with your advisors to get that done. AB 1513 provides most employers with an ‘affirmative defense’ from class action lawsuits for having failed to pay piece-rate employees separately for ‘other non-productive time’ or ‘rest and recovery periods.’
What’s a bit on the scary side is that employers that submit the notice to make back payments are displayed on a public list on the DIR website. Will class action lawyers comb the list to find employers who have not submitted the notice to file suit? Time will tell, but legal experts say don’t be surprised if they do.
Here’s the kicker, this provision is only available to employers that take certain steps. And the first step is to complete the online form here by July 1.
If you have questions about this safe harbor provision, the California Department of Industrial Relations website has all the information and links you need to get this done before July 1.
As employers prepare for this, legal expert Jason Resnick with the Western Growers Association says do the math first, “Entering the safe harbor means that the employer may be required to make substantial back wage
payments to piece-rate employees for time periods prior to and including December 31, 2015. Employers should run a cost/benefit analysis, comparing the amount that would be owed under the safe harbor provision with the potential exposure to damages, including statutory and civil penalties, liquidated damages and attorney’s fees that would be owed if a class action lawsuit was to be filed against the employer. While determining that potential exposure is a time consuming and arduous task, a good back-of-the-envelope estimate is to take the back wages multiplied by 30.”
Datatech has put together an add-on report for our clients to help them determine if they should make the election to avail themselves of the safe-harbor under AB 1513.
Datatech Vice President and Programmer, Matthew Davidian says the company is doing it’s part to help, “In our recent blog post on ‘The Datatech Grapevine’ we posted a 30 minute video of a webinar on this issue of safe harbor under AB 1513. We’ve also updated our help documentation within our software to aid clients in navigating through this process.
We know our clients want to do what they feel is the right thing for them and we want to help them. We’ve also created an add-on report that will help Datatech customers review and calculate Safe Harbor restitution payments on both the Actual Due and 4% methods.”
Here’s the video of the safe harbor portion of the recent webinar hosted by Datatech Training Manager Hannah Tarrats.
If you’d like more information about the Datatech ‘safe-harbor’ report, contact Datatech representative Bryan Peckfelder at Brian@DatatechAg.com and we’ll be glad to share the latest on how you get this report.
Employers have under 3 weeks to get this done.
Datatech is a leader in easy to use Ag accounting, payroll, human resources, inventory and sales software. You’ll find us in over 21 states and we’re grounded in the agricultural heart of the Central Valley of California.