News story provided by California Grape and Tree Fruit League, Fresno.
Assembly Bill 2346, introduced by Betsy Butler (D-El Segundo) and Assembly Bill 1544, introduced by V. Manuel Perez (D-Coachella) passed out of the Assembly Appropriations Committee and are expected to be taken up on the Assembly floor for a vote.
Assembly Bill 2346, sponsored by the United Farm Workers, imposes civil penalties and creates a private right of action for violations of the state’s heat illness prevention requirements.
Specifically, it would require that employees shall have water at a distance of no more than 10 feet from where he or she is working, at a temperature of 70 degrees or lower at all times, and the employer shall have and maintain one or more areas with shade at all times while employees are present that is either open to the air or provided with ventilation or cooling.
The shaded area shall be located as close as practicable to the areas where employees are working, and in no event shall be at a distance greater than 200 feet away from any employee.
The League, as part of a coalition of agricultural organizations, continues to work to defeat AB 2346 by communicating with members of the Legislature and the Governor of the egregious changes AB 2346 would unnecessarily make to California’s heat-illness prevention standard. The other bill in the Appropriations Committee was AB 1544 that establishes the California Agricultural Jobs and Industry Stabilization Act of 2012, which requires the Employment Development Department (EDD) to issue permits authorizing an undocumented person to reside and work as an employee in the state.
For the purposes of the bill, an employee would be defined as an agricultural employee and a person employed to provide domestic services, janitorial/building maintenance services, food preparation services, or housekeeping services. For additional information, you are encouraged to contact either Barry Bedwell
or Christopher Valadez
in the League’s office.