California Farm Laborer Contract Bond to Prevent Harassment

California Farm Laborer Contract Bond to Prevent Harassment

Rachel Ford James / Flickr / CC BY-NC-SA

Date Enacted: September 28, 2014
Date Effective: January 1, 2015

California’s SB 1087 moves to prevent harassment of workers by placing additional conditions on the farm labor contractor license bond pertaining to what claims can be made against it. The bond will now also be conditioned upon: (a) the compliance of state laws regarding harassment, (b) federal laws pertaining to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and (c) payment of damages required for non-compliance with these laws.

If you are a farm labor contractor, you may need to know how to get or renew your farm labor contractor license bond. Read more about this change and other revisions below.

Farm Labor Contractor Bonding Law Revisions

California’s existing farm contractor bond law required financial securities based on the contractor’s payroll. The enacted changes still use this as a benchmark, but revise what the bonds are conditioned upon.

The bonds are conditioned upon following employment law pertinent to farm contracting and on payment for lack of compliance with those applicable laws. The new amendment means that farm contractors must now abide by state laws on harassment, federal laws regarding the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and payment of reparations for failure to comply with these laws.

Contractor License Bond Amounts

The surety bond amounts are determined by a farm contractor’s payroll. Contractors with payrolls valued at more than two million dollars will be required to carry a bond of $75,000. Payrolls ranging from $500,000 to two million dollars mean you need to carry a bond of $50,000. Lastly, a contractor bond of $25,000 will be needed for payrolls of less than $500,000.

Additional License Law Changes

In addition to the changes to bond conditions, the rules for acquiring a license were also amended in a few ways, including the following:

  • Anyone who has been found guilty of sexual harassment by an administrative agency or by a court in the three years prior to application for license to act as a farm labor contractor, may not be allowed to obtain a farm labor contractor license.
  • A license may also be denied to persons who employed someone in a supervisory role with the knowledge that they had been found by a court or administrative committee to have committed sexual harassment against an employee within the three years prior to an application.
  • The license fee will be increased from $500 to $600.
  • The written examination that is required of license applicants to demonstrate an understanding of current laws will now also cover regulations concerning sexual harassment in the workplace, and may cost up to $200 instead of $100.

Administrative Details

Any contractor who has been the subject of a final judgement in the amount of the total bond amount or greater than the total bond amount in a year will be required to deposit an additional bond within 60 days.

Check out the full revised Farm Labor Contractors Bill for more details.

Have thoughts on these revisions or on farm labor contractor license bonds? Share them with us below.