Court Denies Preliminary Injunction Regarding Piece Rate Safe Harbor – Deadline To File Remains July 28, 2016

On July 25, 2016, the judge in Nisei Farmers League v. California Labor and Workforce Development Agency, et al., (Case No. 16 CECG 02107) denied Nisei Farmers League’s motion for preliminary injunction.  Accordingly, the temporary restraining order against the enforcement of the filing deadline to participate in the AB 1513 (codified as Labor Code section 226.2) “safe harbor” expired.  The deadline to elect to take advantage of the law’s safe harbor provision is now July 28, 2016.

The trial court held that the Nisei Farmers League did not establish it would likely succeed on the merits that certain provisions of AB 1513 were unconstitutionally vague.  In addition, the court found that the Nisei Farmers League did not establish that the balance of harms would tilt in its favor.  Nisei Farmers League would have needed to prevail on both arguments for the court to issue preliminary injunction, which would have delayed enforcement of the AB 1513 safe harbor until after a trial on the merits.

This is not the final say by the court on these issues.  The court did not rule on the actual merits of Nisei Farmers League’s argument that provisions of AB 1513 are unconstitutional, which will come at a later time.  However, employers will have to fully comply with the law for now.

If you are considering filing for safe harbor with the Department of Industrial Relations, you now have until Thursday, July 28, 2016 to do so.  The December 15, 2016 deadline to make safe harbor payments to employees remains unchanged.

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