The President's Column
by Steve Weitekamp
September is the beginning of the CMSA chapter meeting season and a busy time for the Association office as we help chapters get going on their meetings and finalize our agendas and meeting schedules for our annual Fall Board meeting. We also traveled to Washington, D.C., to represent the Association at the American Moving and Storage Association’s fall board meeting and Moving Day on the Hill event.
On the legislative front, over the last year, CMSA has been quietly working to address a concern related to AB 1897 that became law in 2015. You may recall that CMSA sent out a Member Alert in response to this legislative action. We drafted language, recently included in AB 1509 bill, that will correct this issue. AB 1509 addresses an issue having to do with the client employer and labor contractor relationship as established by AB 1897. AB 1897 defined a “client employer” as a business entity that obtains or provides workers to perform labor within its usual course of business from a labor contractor. Under these provisions, a client employer is required to share with a labor contractor all civil legal responsibility and civil liability for all workers supplied by that labor contractor for both 1) the payment of wages and 2) failure to secure valid workers’ compensation coverage. However, existing law exempts certain employers from these provisions, including a motor carrier of property subcontracting with or otherwise engaging another motor carrier to provide transportation services using its own employees and commercial motor vehicles.
AB 1509 now exempts household goods carriers from liability. Specifically, it clarifies in the state Labor Code that moving companies are included in the exemption by duplicating the motor carrier exemption and makes the appropriate reference to “household goods carriers.”
Now for some good news! Our legislative efforts have resulted in the passing of AB 1509 through the legislature and signed by the Governor Brown. In addition, I am unaware of any other “business friendly” independent contractor legislation in this legislative session!
To help members stay updated on these issues, we have included in this issue a registration form for our November Independent Contractor/Workforce seminars. At these seminars, CMSA Legal Counsel Mark Hegarty and other presenters will review issues related to independent contractors, employees and staffing options. If you have not signed up yet, I would strongly encourage you to do so today as space will be limited.
In other news, it has come to our attention that California Fish and Wildlife inspectors are stopping household goods carriers at border inspection stations and requiring a visual inspection of all watercraft for Zebra Mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) infestation. If they are unable to access a watercraft to conduct a visual inspection, you will be required to unload the shipment at the inspection station or not be allowed to enter the state. There is no self-inspection option and there is no minimum size to watercraft. Even kayaks are required to be inspected. If an inspector can’t see it, you won’t be allowed to enter California.
- CMSA Communicator