With less than 50 days remaining in the year, producers should already be preparing for new laws that will be coming into effect beginning January 1. Governor Gavin Newsom signed more than 800 new bills into law during the last legislative session, with several new laws having a direct impact on agricultural employers.
The deadline to file harassment and retaliation claims under the Fair Employment and Housing Act has now been extended from one year to three years. Businesses will also need to prove three specific conditions in order to classify a worker as an independent contractor rather than an employee moving forward. Mandatory arbitration agreements which require employees to waive certain rights for financial settlements are also now prohibited under AB 51.
AB 1783 now prevents state funding from being used for the development of housing for H-2A farm employees. The new legislation also establishes a streamlined process for the development of housing if employers forfeit control of the housing to a third party. Employment-related settlement agreements preventing employees from reapplying for a position with the employer have now been banned under AB 749.
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