July 18, 2017

Ag Industry Files Amici Curiae Letter to Court of Appeal

Western Growers, California Farm Bureau Federation, Ventura County Agricultural Association and Grower-Shipper Association Central California, have filed an application to the 6th District Court of Appeal to file an Amici Curiae (friend of the court) letter in support of a California harvesting company’s suit in connection with the safe harbor provisions of California’s piece-rate law, AB 1513.

In Jackpot Harvesting Company, Inc. v. Superior Court, the employer filed the petition for writ of mandate and request for stay of enforcement of a Monterey Superior Court decision allowing a class action lawsuit to proceed that includes time periods prior to the AB 1513’s “sweep date” of July 1, 2012, even though it is undisputed that Jackpot timely elected the AB 1513 “safe harbor” and made all required back payments. 

In denying Jackpot’s motion for summary of adjudication, the Monterey Superior Court judge ruled that AB 1513, codified in Labor Code Section 226.2, only provided an affirmative defense or “safe harbor” for claims for unpaid rest periods and non-productive time occurring between July 1, 2012 and December 31, 2015.  

Labor Code Section 226.2(b), provides that if an employer complies with all the requirements set forth in that section by no later than December 15, 2016, the employer “…shall have an affirmative defense to any claim or cause of action for recovery of wages, damages, liquidated damages, statutory penalties or civil penalties including liquidated damages pursuant to Section 1194.2, statutory penalties pursuant to Section 203, premium pay pursuant to Section 226.7 and actual damages or liquidated damages pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section 226, based solely on the employers failure to timely pay the employee the compensation due for rest and recovery periods and other non-productive time for time periods prior to and including December 31, 2015…” [Emphasis added]

For more information, contact Jason Resnick at (949) 885-2253.