Could it be jail for California farmers?
August 22, 2012
• Bill would make it a felony for violating heat protection laws
• Passes Senate, now in Assembly
The California state Senate has approved legislation that would make it a felony for farmers to violate the state’s heat protection laws.
The bill, authored by Assemblyman Charles Calderon, D-City of Industry, toughens existing law that makes violations a misdemeanor.
The measure is now in the Assembly where Mr. Calderon is majority leader.
His bill would apply to agricultural workers and not more broadly to all workers who toil in the sun.
“This bill would make it a crime for any person who directs an agricultural employee to perform, or supervises an agricultural employee in the performance of, outdoor work without providing the employee with shade and potable water, punishable by imprisonment not exceeding 6 months in a county jail, by a fine not exceeding $10,000, or by both,” the bill says.
And if the violation results in injury to an agricultural employee, the employer could face “imprisonment not exceeding one year in a county jail, by a fine not exceeding $25,000, or by both that fine and imprisonment,” the bill says.