UFW Hopes For Win on Heat Bill

The Sacramento Bee, the best in my opinion on California politics, reports.

Since 1990, when California officials set up an advisory committee to reduce heat-related issues in the workplace, labor unions have waited anxiously for the state to adopt regulations.

Prodded by Valdivia's death, the United Farm Workers' top legislative priority this year is a bill that would require the state to establish standards to reduce heat illnesses and subject employers who flout the law to misdemeanor charges.

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Last year, Schwarzenegger became what farmworker advocates say is the first Republican governor to sign a UFW-sponsored bill in California.

Bill Tracking Updates

AB 48 - Has been amended to index the minimum wage to inflation, in addition to a phased in hike to $7.75. It was voted out of its first committee 6-2 on April 20. Next up the appropriations (?) committee.

AB 640 (alternative workweeks) had a few slight changes last month, but failed passage in committee. Reconsideration may be granted, but until then, this one seems dead.

AB 875 has been amended to set up triggers to cause employer audits. It passed out of committee in an earlier form, but has been re-referred.

* AB 879 has been modified to streamline procedures with respect to garment workers.

SB 101 has received its floor and committee analyses, as well as support from the Chamber of Commerce.

* SB 174 has been changed from a shell to bill that will allow employees earning less than twice the minimum wage to bring a representative action any time they have to sue for wages. CLEL is upgrading its track of this bill.

SB 184 (talent agency bonds) passed out of committee.

SB 285 was apparently killed by its author, Senator Maldonado. Many expect him to run for Insurance Commissioner.

SB 862 - No action since last update.

SB 940 - Hearing postponed.