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AB 1978 Worker Protection: Janitorial

2017 Legislative Update

By Dirk E. Petchul, Esq.
Published: January, 2017

Effective July 1, 2018, Labor Code §§1420-1434 will be added to require persons or entities providing janitorial services to annually register with the California Labor Commissioner.

These Labor Code provisions will prohibit employers from providing janitorial services without the required registration (which can be revoked by the Labor Commissioner under various circumstances). The referenced registration process imposes a number of obligations upon the employer. Among them are mandatory sexual violence and harassment prevention education.

Labor Code §1432(b) provides that any person or entity (including a community association) that contracts with a janitorial services business that lacks current and valid registration will be subject to substantial civil fines of $2,000-$10,000 for a first offense and $10,000-$25,000 for subsequent violations.

Associations that contract with janitorial services providers will be able to verify the registration of the janitorial employer in a public database that will be provided by the Department of Industrial Relations in the Labor and Workforce Development Agency.

The referenced Labor Code provisions are not effective until 2018. However, many associations enter into one year contracts with service providers. Many contracts automatically renew under various circumstances. Consequently, well in advance of the effective date of this new law, associations should carefully evaluate the terms of any janitorial-related contract executed, extended, renewed or modified. In that process, they should consider requiring provisions (in the body of the agreement or in an addendum) that require the janitorial service provider not only to comply with the requirements of Sections 1420 to 1434 through the entire term of the agreement, but also to require that it defend and hold the Association harmless from any fines/detriment arising from a failure to do so. Associations should also consider including a right to immediately terminate the contract if, at any time on or after July 1, 2018, the service provider is indicated as not being properly registered for any reason.

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