California Business Leaders Speak Out Against AB 1897

Tue. August 19th, 2014 - by Andrew McDaniel

CALIFORNIA - California business leaders are speaking out against AB 1897, a labor union-supported bill that the California Senate will vote on this week. 

The Business Journal, or TBJ Now, reports that local business leaders gathered yesterday to urge the California Senate to vote against an Assembly Bill that would hold companies accountable for a subcontractor’s treatment of its employees.  The bill is authored by Roger Hernandez, D-West Covina.

Fresno Chamber of Commerce President Al Smith said that the bill is unnecessary because there are already laws in place to discourage companies from hiring subcontractors who violate employees’ rights or commit wage theft, according to TBJ Now.  “It [would] be burdensome for the original company,” he added.

“I absolutely oppose this process,” added Manuel Cunha, President of the Nisei Farmers League in Fresno.  “The amount of wage-theft is so minute, it’s really just one or two bad apples.”

Barry Bedwell, President of the California Fresh Fruit Association said the law would be broad and affect most industries in California, according to TBJ Now.  “This is truly a job killer,” he said.  “I fail to see the benefit, particularly of this law.”

Business leaders also voiced concern that the bill would also exempt local and state government bodies and only apply to the private sector.

Western Growers is also urging Californians to contact their Senator to urge them to vote against this bill.  In the Action Center on its website, the company states, “It is simply unfair to impose significant liability against an innocent third party for the wrongful acts of another, especially when the third party cannot prevent those wrongful acts. I urge you to VOTE NO on AB 1897.”

This is definitely an important issue for the produce industry.  Please contact your local Senator here and let your voice be heard.

Nisei Farmers League

California Fresh Fruit Association 

Western Growers