You are here: California / Labor Code - LAB / CHAPTER 3. Farm Labor Contractors [1682. - 1699.] / Section 1695.7.

Section 1695.7. (Amended by Stats. 2001, Ch. 157, Sec. 1.)
Cite as: Cal. Lab. Code §1695.7.

(a)(1)Prior to entering into any contract or agreement to supply agricultural labor or services to a grower, a farm labor contractor shall first provide to the grower a copy of his or her current valid state license. A failure to do so is a violation of this chapter. The grower shall keep a copy of the license for a period of three years following the termination of the contract or agreement.

(2)In the event that the licensee or prospective licensee has fulfilled all the requirements for a license, but the Labor Commissioner has not been able to timely issue or renew a license, the Labor Commissioner shall issue to the person applying for a license, or renewal of a license, a letter of authorization permitting that person to operate or continue to operate as a farm labor contractor. For purposes of this section, a “valid state license” shall include a letter of authorization issued pursuant to this paragraph.

(3)(A)No grower shall enter into a contract or agreement with a person acting in the capacity of a farm labor contractor who fails to provide a copy of his or her license. A grower has an affirmative obligation to inspect the license of any person contracted as a farm labor contractor, a copy of whose license is provided to the grower pursuant to paragraph (1), and to verify that the license is valid. The grower shall request verification from the license verification unit by the close of the third business day following the day on which the farm labor contractor is engaged. The grower may be supplied services by the farm labor contractor and shall not be liable under this section for an invalid license while awaiting verification from the verification unit. The verification received from the license verification unit shall serve as conclusive evidence of the grower’s compliance with this subparagraph. The verification shall be valid until the farm labor contractor’s license expires. Failure to comply with this subparagraph is a violation of this chapter.

(B)A farm labor contractor has an affirmative obligation to inspect the license of any person contracted by the farm labor contractor who is acting in the capacity of a farm labor contractor a copy of whose license is provided to the farm labor contractor pursuant to Section 1695.9, and to verify that the license is valid. The farm labor contractor shall request verification from the license verification unit by the close of the third business day following the day on which the individual who is acting as the farm labor contractor is engaged. The farm labor contractor may be supplied services by the acting farm labor contractor and shall not be liable under this section for an invalid license while awaiting verification from the verification unit. The verification received from the license verification unit shall serve as conclusive evidence of the farm labor contractor’s compliance with this subparagraph. The verification shall be valid until the individual’s license expires. Failure to comply with this subparagraph is a violation of this chapter.

(C)If a determination is made by the Labor Commissioner that the verification system is inoperable, no grower or farm labor contractor shall be liable under this section until seven business days after the Labor Commissioner determines the system is operable and has made public notice to affected parties.

(4)(A)If a contract or agreement entered into with a farm labor contractor extends beyond the expiration date of his or her license, or extends beyond the date contained in the letter of authorization to operate, the farm labor contractor shall provide to the grower, upon renewal of the license or issuance of the letter of authorization a copy of his or her current valid renewed license or a copy of a letter of authorization issued by the Labor Commissioner. In the event the farm labor contractor’s license is not renewed, the farm labor contractor shall notify the grower within three days.

(B)If a contract or agreement entered into by a farm labor contractor with another farm labor contractor extends beyond the expiration date of his or her license, or extends beyond the date contained in the letter of authorization to operate, the other farm labor contractor shall provide to the farm labor contractor, upon renewal of the license or issuance of the letter of authorization a copy of his or her current valid renewed license or a copy of a letter of authorization issued by the Labor Commissioner. In the event the license of a person contracted by a farm labor contractor who is acting as farm labor contractor is not renewed, the person shall notify the farm labor contractor within three days.

(b)A failure by a farm labor contractor to provide a copy of his or her license to the grower shall not constitute a defense against liability under this section for a grower who subsequently fails to comply with the requirements of subparagraph (A) of paragraph (3) of subdivision (a). A failure by a person acting as a farm labor contractor who is contracted by a farm labor contractor to provide a copy of his or her license to the farm labor contractor shall not constitute a defense against liability under this section for a farm labor contractor who subsequently fails to comply with the requirements of subparagraph (B) of paragraph (3) of subdivision (a).

(c)(1)Any person who acts in the capacity of a farm labor contractor without first securing a license or while his or her license has been suspended or revoked is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than one thousand dollars ($1,000) nor more than five thousand dollars ($5,000), or imprisonment in the county jail for not more than six months, or both, and is subject to other sanctions under this chapter, including subdivisions (b) and (c) of Section 1697.

(2)Any grower or farm labor contractor who enters into a contract or agreement in violation of this section shall be subject to a civil action by an aggrieved worker for any claims arising from the contract or agreement that are a direct result of any violation of any state law regulating wages, housing, pesticides, or transportation committed by the unlicensed farm labor contractor. The court shall grant a prevailing plaintiff reasonable attorney’s fees and costs.

(3)On or after January 1, 2003, any grower, farm labor contractor, or other person acting either individually or as an officer, agent, or employee of any grower or farm labor contractor who knowingly and willfully fails to pay, or causes the failure to pay, wages as set forth in subdivision (b) of Section 1199, or any higher wages that have been agreed to, is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable as set forth in subdivision (f). However, if the prosecutor elects to prosecute any grower, farm labor contractor, or other person pursuant to this paragraph and subdivision (f), multiple failures to pay wages within a single payroll and in a single pay period shall constitute one violation.

(4)Any aggrieved worker who, claims a violation of this section, may bring a civil action for injunctive relief and lost wages as provided in Section 218, and, upon prevailing, shall recover reasonable attorney’s fees and costs.

(d)As used in this section:

(1)“Business day” means any day on which the offices of the license verification unit are open to the public for the conducting of business.

(2)“Grower” means any person who owns or leases land used for the planting, cultivation, production, harvesting, or packing of any farm products, if he or she hires or uses persons acting as farm labor contractors, and includes a packing shed or a person or entity who farms the land on behalf of the land owner, whether or not he or she owns or leases the land.

(3)“Inspect,” with regard to inspecting a license, means to examine the license to determine whether it reasonably appears on its face to be genuine.

(4)“License verification unit” means the Farm Labor Contractor License Verification Unit established pursuant to subdivision (e).

(5)“Verify,” with respect to verifying a license, means to contact by telephone, facsimile, website, electronic mail, or other means as determined by the Labor Commissioner, the license verification unit to confirm the validity of a license and to record in the requester’s files the unique verification number provided by the license verification unit to document that the requester confirmed the validity of the license of the farm labor contractor with whom he or she has entered into a contract or agreement to supply services.

(e)The Labor Commissioner shall establish and maintain a Farm Labor Contractor License Verification Unit commencing no later than July 1, 2002. The license verification unit shall, upon the request of a grower or farm labor contractor, certify the status of a state license issued to a farm labor contractor. The license verification unit shall assign a unique verification number to the request and the unit shall within 24 hours send by mail, or, if available, by facsimile or electronic mail, confirmation that will serve as conclusive evidence of compliance with the verification requirements of this section. The obligation under this section to verify licenses shall not become operative and the penalties for failure to verify a license shall not be applicable until three months after the license verification unit becomes operational, as certified by the State Auditor.

(f)(1)On or after January 1, 2003, a violation of paragraph (3) of subdivision (c) is a misdemeanor and is punishable as provided in subdivision (a) of Section 1697, except that the fine portion of the penalty shall be as follows:

(A)Upon conviction for a first violation, by a fine of not less than one thousand dollars ($1,000) nor more than five thousand dollars ($5,000), and is subject to other sanctions under this chapter, including subdivisions (b) and (c) of Section 1697. Upon conviction, the Labor Commissioner shall revoke the defendant’s license and the defendant shall be ineligible for a license for a period of one year from the date of revocation.

(B)Upon a conviction for a violation committed within three years after a conviction for a prior violation, by a fine of not less than ten thousand dollars ($10,000) and is subject to other sanctions under this chapter, including subdivisions (b) and (c) of Section 1697. Upon a second conviction, the Labor Commissioner shall revoke the defendant’s license and the defendant shall be ineligible for a license for a period of two years from the date of revocation.

(C)Upon a conviction for a violation committed within five years after a second conviction pursuant to subparagraph (B), by a fine of not less than twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000), and is subject to other sanctions under this chapter, including subdivisions (b) and (c) of Section 1697. Upon a third conviction, the Labor Commissioner shall revoke the defendant’s license and the defendant shall not thereafter be eligible to obtain a license.

(2)If a person is prosecuted under this subdivision, that person may not be prosecuted under any other law if the prosecution would be based upon the same set of facts as the prosecution under this subdivision.

(g)A farm labor contractor, a person contracted by a farm labor contractor who is acting in the capacity of a farm labor contractor, or an employer of a farm labor contractor is subject to Section 98.6 and 1102.5.





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