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California Farmer Contractors Face Fines for Failing to Provide Training

10.27.17

In the article, "California Farmer Contractors Face Fines for Failing to Provide Training," featured in SHRM, Benjamin Ebbink discusses why there is some opposition to the new legislation requiring California farmers to provide sexual harassment prevention training.

Opponents of the new law for farmworker training said they feared it would trigger more litigation, said Ebbink. He was chief consultant for the assembly's labor committee when the 2014 law was passed and served as a consultant from 2002 to 2017. The new law's threat to revoke the licenses of farm labor operators who fail to provide training seems "like a pretty significant hammer," he said.

CRLAF wanted the legislation to include a mandatory amount of time devoted to training, but that provision was scrapped because instruction is often done informally in a field or from the back of a pickup truck, Ebbink said.

Farmworkers often travel between farms as crops ripen or need to be tended, so the requirement that they receive training each time they're hired by a new contractor might result in multiple trainings and skew the tallies of trainings that contractors are required to report to the state, he said.

To read the full article, please visit SHRM.

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