California Labor Law: Governor Brown’s New Law

Governor Jerry Brown recently signed Assembly Bill 1897, creating new Labor Code section 2810.3. The new labor code section created by the Assembly Bill applies to almost all companies with 25+ employees that obtain or receive workers to complete work through the “usual course of business” from other businesses that provide workers (otherwise known as labor contractors). The new law makes such companies liable for three things:

  • Payment to contractor’s employees
  • Any contractor’s failure to secure appropriate workers’ compensation coverage as required
  • Compliant actions regarding occupational health and safety requirements (OSHA) in place

Companies will now have a new statutory liability. The legal contraction of labor services in regards to the new Labor Code section isn’t related to the required finding of joint/co-employment or any type of control over working conditions, the method of payment, scheduling of work hours, or the overall work site environment. Under the new law, each company is liable even if they can exhibit proof that they were not aware of violations that existed or occurred.

The new labor code law applies to workers who are completing their job in the normal course of business on site. California employees who are exempt from overtime (i.e. executive, administrative and professional employees) are excluded from the new law’s reach. There are also a few exemptions from the definition of a “client employer” who is covered under the new law: companies with fewer than 25 workers, companies who use 5 or less labor contract workers at any given time, state organizations, homeowners and home-based businesses who receive labor contract services in their homes, and companies providing transportation services. Additional limited exemptions in relation to non-profit, community organizations, unions, apprenticeship programs, motor club services, cable operators, telephone corporations, etc.

The new law will be effective as of January 1, 2015. For additional information regarding exceptions and exclusions of the new labor law, contact your southern California employment law experts at Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik.