Irvine, California – Fallout from Assembly Bill 1513 which changed long-accepted compensation practices for non-productive time and rest and recovery periods taken by employees compensated on a piece-rate basis continues. A lawsuit that challenges the ‘safe-harbor’ provisions in AB 1513 is being supported by the Western Growers Association and the California Fresh Fruit Association and being filed by the Pacific Legal Foundation on behalf of its clients, Fowler Packing and Gerawan Farms.
Both associations will file ‘friend of the court’ briefs in support of the lawsuit that challenges provisions in the new law that provides a ‘safe harbor’ from class action lawsuits to employers who make back payment to piece-rate employees. Prior to AB 1513 and after state appellate court rulings in 2013, some farm labor operations would have been subject to up to 4 years retroactive pay.
The provisions in question were allegedly demanded by the United Farm Workers Union after negotiations ended with state leaders on the proposed law in the summer of 2015. The Western Growers Associations says the UFW has targeted the two farming operations on unrelated matters. Included in AB 1513 were the exclusions of Fowler Packing and Gerawan Farms to the ‘safe harbor’ provisions of the law.
The Western Growers and California Fresh Fruit associations have released a joint statement on these issues and their support of the challenge to the ‘safe harbor’ provisions of AB 1513. You can read it here.
Posted by – Jon Brent / Sarquis, Datatech Manager of Marketing and Communications; Jon@DatatechAg.com