On January 1, 2022, Bill 701, which aims to regulate and limit the use of allowances in warehouses, will come into force. While the bill was specifically intended to target Amazon, all California warehouse employers should pay close attention to its provisions and related regulations likely to be released in 2022.
The bill requires employers to have at least 100 non-exempt employees in a single warehouse distribution center, or at least 1,000 non-exempt employees in one or more state warehouse distribution centers, provide each employee with a written description of each quota to which they are subject. at the time of hiring or within 30 days of the date the law comes into force. Quota disclosure should include the quantified number of tasks to be performed or materials to be produced or processed within the defined time frame. The employer must also disclose any potential adverse action that could result from failure to meet the quota.
AB 701 prohibits employers from requiring quotas that prevent compliance with meal or rest periods, the use of the washroom, or occupational health and safety laws. All actions taken by employees to comply with occupational health and safety laws should be considered task time and productive time for the purposes of any quota or oversight system. Employers are prohibited from taking adverse action against employees for failing to meet an undisclosed quota or an illegal quota.
Under the bill, current or former employees who believe that meeting a quota has caused a violation of their right to a meal or a period of rest or forced them to violate a law or a standard on occupational health and safety, have the right to request a written description of each quota to which the employee is subject and a copy of the most recent 90 days of the employee’s personal working speed data. Even more worrying for employers, the bill creates a private right of action for current or former employees to bring an injunction action to obtain compliance with specified requirements. If an employee is successful in such a lawsuit, he or she may recover reasonable legal costs and fees in such action. A former employee is limited to a single request for work speed data.
This bill requires the labor commissioner to engage in coordinated and strategic enforcement efforts with the Department of Industrial Relations, including the Occupational Safety and Health Division and the Workers Compensation Division. accidents at work, in order to apply the bill. AB 701 requires the Commissioner to report to the Legislature by January 1, 2023, the number of complaints filed with the Commissioner, data on warehouse production quotas in warehouses in which annual injury rates of employees are above the industry average, and the number of investigations and enforcement actions initiated, by employer, as specified. In addition, the Occupational Safety and Health Division or the Workplace Compensation Division must notify the Commissioner if it is found that a particular workplace or employer has an annual rate of employee injuries. at least 1.5 times the average annual injury rate in the warehousing industry.
Written by Assembly member Lorena Gonzalez, a former union official, AB 701 is based on the premise that quotas generally do not give workers time to comply with safety guidelines or recover from a intense activity during productive working time, leaving them vulnerable to injury and illness. The California Chamber of Commerce has viewed AB 701 as a “job killer” bill, noting that it paves the way for frivolous litigation and overlapping and confusing regulations. Gov. Newsom’s office hailed the law for establishing “new industry-leading transparency measures allowing companies to disclose descriptions of production quotas to their workers and banning the use of algorithms that disrupt basic workers’ rights. such as rest periods, toilet breaks or respect for health and safety. laws. “