New Liability for "Permatemp" Employees

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, March 28, 2014

Manufacturers that utilize temporary workers in their operations could soon find themselves legally responsible for their wage/hour payments, workers’ compensation benefits, and workplace injuries and conditions according to recent legislation proposed by Assemblymember Roger Hernández (D-West Covina), Chair of the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee.

While the new amendments to AB 1897 will not be in print until next week, we expect the bill will make employers jointly and severally liable for the permanent temporary workers they hire, excluding those exempt from overtime laws, such as professional, executive and high tech workers.

Earlier this month, the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee held an informational hearing on the use of permanent temporary workers that explored the question of who should be responsible for the employment conditions and compensation of the "permatemp" employee. Much of the testimony given advocated for greater responsibility on the part of the contracting employer to ensure these employees received their due compensation as well as the proper training and education to avoid workplace injuries. At the conclusion of the hearing, Chairman Hernández announced that legislative action would be taken to address this issue.

Other areas of interest raised during the hearing included: enhanced employer reporting of workplace injuries involving permanent temporary workers; resolving the differential in pay between temporary and permanent workers who perform the same job; and enforcement challenges related to temporary employment in the underground economy.

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