AB-5 and Agriculture
When California’s new AB-5 law goes into effect at the first of the year, fruit growers say it may put an added burden on agricultural producers. The law requires employers to treat contract workers like employees unless they meet certain requirements.
The California Citrus Mutual a trade association, says it’s been fielding calls from producers on how to best adjust to the new law. Alyssa Houtby is the group’s Director of Government Affairs.
“Whether that’s hauling or trucking of fruit. Our relationships with pest control advisers, hedgers and toppers in the citrus industry. Most of the time a grower or a packing house will have a relationship with those contractors and independent contractors. They’re not employing those individuals. This legislation sets forth a specific test known as the ABC test on how that individual is classified. Whether that person is truly an independent contractor or whether they need to be classified as an employee. That ABC test spells out that unless an employer can demonstrate that the three factors of the test are met, the person that they’re contracting is actually an employee.
The ABC test to determine whether a worker is a contractor includes assurance that the worker is free from the control and direction of the hirer in connection with the performance of the work,
the worker performs work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity's business and
the worker is customarily engaged in an independently established trade or occupation
Houtby says its essential that every relationship on the farm be evaluated.