June 30, 2016

Nisei Farmers League Challenges AB 1513 Piece-rate Legislation

Calling the legislation ambiguous and unconstitutional, the Nisei Farmers League (NFL) filed an application for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction with the Superior Court of California in Fresno against AB 1513. The state law that requires piece-rate workers to be paid for “other non-productive time” and rest and recovery periods separate and apart from piece-rate earnings.

AB 1513 also provides an affirmative defense or “safe harbor” from claims for uncompensated or undercompensated nonproductive time and break periods. The deadline to elect the AB 1513 safe harbor is this Friday night, July 1, at midnight.)

The complaint argues, “The phrases ‘nonproductive time’ and ‘directly related’ are so vague that neither Nisei Farmers League nor its members can structure their conduct in such a way as to know, with any degree of certainty or otherwise, how to act in compliance.”

The application was filed June 27, 2016, and a hearing on the TRO was scheduled for 3:30 pm today.  This is the second challenge to AB 1513. An earlier lawsuit filed by Fowler Packing Company and Gerawan Farming Company, Inc. was limited to a Constitutional challenge of those provisions of AB 1513 that targeted the plaintiffs, excluding them from the benefits of the law’s safe harbor provisions. Western Growers and other organizations filed an amicus brief in support of the lawsuit. A decision on the state’s motion to dismiss the Fowler/Gerawan lawsuit is pending.  

Nisei Farmers League Temporary Restraining Order

Nisei Farmers League Memorandum of Points and Authorities

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