New Contractor Law Heightens Protection for California Contractors
Audet & Partners, LLP reports that Gov. Jerry Brown of California has signed into law Assembly Bill 1897 that now makes most companies with 25 or more employees strictly liable for specific violations related to compensation, workers’ compensation, and occupational health and safety mandates that impact contractors.
The new California law, to become effective on January 1, 2015, protects contractors by imposing statutory liability on companies in the following general areas:
- • Payment of wages to the contractor’s employees;
- • A contractor’s failure to procure adequate workers’ compensation coverage for workers; and
- • Compliance with applicable occupational health and safety requirements.
This new law affords contractors legal protection completely independent of and in a addition to other employment rights such as overtime pay, meal and rest breaks, and other protections afforded by California law. In addition, under the new contractor law, companies now have an affirmative obligation to ensure that contractors are adequately provided for even if they are able to show that they lacked knowledge of violations by the labor contractor.
To trigger the provisions of the law, a company must have 25 or more employees and retain contractors to perform services within the company’s “usual course of business” which is defined by the new statute as:
“[T]he regular and customary work of a business, performed within or upon the premises or worksite of the client employer.”
The law specifically excludes classes of workers who are exempt from overtime under California law such as executive, administrative, or professional employees.
Audet & Partners, LLP has a long history of successfully representing individuals in employment-related litigation to enforce workplace rights. If you are a contractor and believe that you have not been provided all to which you are entitled under the law by your employer, you are urged to contact an attorney at Audet & Partners, LLP either by calling (800) 965-1461 or by completing and submitting our confidential inquiry form on the right side of this page.