Governor Signs Bill to Stop Unlicensed Farm Labor Contractors Activities

October 16, 2012 10:00 am · 15 comments

AB 1675, authored by Assemblywoman Susan A. Bonilla (D-Concord), was signed into law by Governor Brown to strengthen the existing farm labor contractor licensing law; while at the same time ensures farmworkers are employed by contractors that are operating according to the law.

“This bill will assist the Labor Commissioner in its enforcement efforts, will guarantee bad actors are penalized, and will deter unlicensed contractor activities through the assessment of civil penalties,” said Assemblywoman Bonilla.

Under existing law farm labor contractors are required to be licensed; however, there is no penalty for farm labor contractors that practice without a license. The Labor Commissioner’s only enforcement authority is to refer the matter for a possible criminal misdemeanor prosecution, which is costly to the state. As such, licensing violations are rarely, if ever, prosecuted and leave the Labor Commissioner, without the legal weapons that exist in other contexts. For example, in the construction industry operating without a license is subject to a civil penalty of $200 per employee, for each day of the contract.

“AB 1675 gives the Labor Commissioner new tools to attack the underground economy operators to flout state law and operate without licenses. By allowing for a penalty of up to $50K for acting without a license, the bill sends a strong message that operating without a license is a serious offense,” said Mark Schacht, Deputy Director for the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation.

Civil penalties collected, from unlicensed contractors, will be deposited in the existing Farmworker Remedial Account, which is overseen by the Labor Commission, as a farmworker wage protection fund. The account funds are derived from contractor licensing fees and accessed when contractors are unable to pay their workers or to make an employee whole when they’ve been wronged by the contractor.

Screwy Louie October 16, 2012 at 10:21 AM

If the Commish wants to go after a bad actor, get Nicholas Cage!

TC October 16, 2012 at 10:55 AM

Yeah, just pass more laws,that oughtta fix the problem. Must be election time again.

Howard K Mullins III October 16, 2012 at 11:24 AM

The government is regulating business out of business. And when there is no more business the government will take over.

History shows the fallacy of governments management business, an economy, health care or anything else. If the US Congress was managing the Sahara it would run out of sand in year. But look at Russia when they took over the farms and told farmers to grow crops for everyone, allowing specific plots for the farmers own family. The farmers, being paid the same whether working on their own plots for in the fields for others, worked their own plots and ate well while the country starved.

Those who believe that the government is the answer are very wrong. Government is the problem if not controlled. And this government is out control.

Randome Task October 16, 2012 at 11:28 AM

lol had me until the special fund part … whe are the people going to learn …specail funds are rat holes for the so called public representatives to raid and abuse …..MTC…..City and State run agencies all pilfer every fund ever put into existance ……and either set it aside where it cant be audited or just out right spend it on vacations and or future campaign funds ….crooked as they will be and yet still throwing it in our faces every day …….woot to the followers

anon October 16, 2012 at 11:29 AM

Why the hell do they need to be licensed in the first place? Oh, I know, so that there is less competition and we can all pay more for produce. Eat fresh! If you can afford it….

Clasping Forehead October 16, 2012 at 11:30 AM

It’s about time!

Atticus Thraxx October 16, 2012 at 11:45 AM

50k penalty? Seems excessive. “the bill sends a strong message that operating without a license is a serious offense”
How in the hell is that a serious offense? Murder, rape and kidnapping are serious offenses, not unlicensed contractors. and laws are not supposed to “send messages…” anyway.
And WTF is “Deputy Director for the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation.? You mean there’s a director too? Wonder who’s paying…never mind. I know who. No on Prop 30.

jtkatec October 16, 2012 at 11:52 AM

…”while at the same time ensures farmworkers are employed by contractors that are operating according to the law”

Really? I think that if you’re barely scrapping by and really need the job, do you think a farmworker is going to kick if someone has a license….. not getting it.

Noj October 16, 2012 at 12:05 PM

Susan Bonilla marched at the head of the Mexican Parade in Todos Santos Plaza several years ago so now you’re surprised that this is her constituency? Nice going.

anonymous October 16, 2012 at 12:26 PM

Typical Bonilla crap

Deluxe October 16, 2012 at 1:22 PM

It kind of reminds me of “Peace sells, but who’s buying?”

Ricardoh October 16, 2012 at 2:50 PM

Another day another law.

anonymous October 16, 2012 at 2:51 PM

Of course if Bonilla cared about crime she wouldn’t have voted for the sanctuary bill which was opposed by law enforcement and vetoed. Her whole focus is the so called Hispanic vote. The rest of us can go pound salt.

Anon October 16, 2012 at 6:38 PM

If all parties aren’t required to be citizens then this is just another FAILURE by our live-in officials who plan to have jobs at our expense for life. And they get free health care as well, at our expense.

Really? All you are opposed to contractors being legal? October 17, 2012 at 5:57 AM

Bet you’re the same bunch who are also opposed to the workers if they are NOT legal, aren’t you? Why the big double standard? And what the heck is wrong with Bonilla representing her constituant’s interests? That is her job and her duty. Just because it happens NOT to be your own preference, don’t be a hater, a whiner, a complainer.

Why do contractors need to be liscensed? Really? Really? You all have no idea why contractors should be liscensed? Give it a little thought. Its not that difficult to figure out. And no it has nothing to do with Russian farmers greedily starving their country.


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