Human trafficking bill placed on suspense file

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, July 11, 2008 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

SB 1649 (Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento) requires businesses to establish policies on slavery and human trafficking.  It was placed on the suspense file by the Assembly Appropriations Committee.  

This bill primarily does two things: it mandates that companies develop policies that illustrate how they will eradicate slavery and human trafficking from their supply chain and establishes a nine-person commission that develops best practices, investigates complaints, reviews company policies, establishes training programs and administers a certification program.

The Committee’s analysis of the bill recognized the commission’s "multitude of duties" and estimated the cost to be in the range of $1 million.  The bill has not yet established how this commission would be funded.  It does, however, allow the commission to accept grants, donations and funding from any source and charge companies a fee if they use its services.

This bill has several provisions that are not well-developed.  For instance, SB 1649 would require businesses to post their policies on the internet; however, the bill does not define how the content should be displayed, its accessibility or how often it should be updated.  It can be assumed that the newly formed commission could develop these parameters but the initial uncertainty is a business liability.  

SB 1649 also imposes an exclusive remedy for a violation of this law by the Attorney General. Without a more thorough understanding of what constitutes acceptable compliance, businesses will be subjected to unwarranted legal complaints.  CMTA believes that SB 1649, as currently drafted, is premature and further development of "best practices" should be compiled before any mandate is imposed.

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