Monday, March 25, 2013

Prop 65/EVerify

Ken Mork Brand Source Pacific Rim Region Manager has brought to me another situation around Prop 65. Brand Source is an association that represents furniture dealers in California. Apparently his members are receiving a certified”Supplemental 60 Notice of Violation” letter alleging violations of Prop 65.

In effect the letter is saying that the dealer can make a settlement with the attorney.

The issue is that a product they are selling has a chemical that is on the Governors list of chemicals that are known to the State of California to cause cancer and/or reproductive toxicity. Product contacting these chemicals must be labeled as such.

The problem is that many of the manufacturers of these products are not labeling these products and therefore the dealer does not know that they are in violation.

There are some who are exempt from this

Governmental agencies and public water utilities

Businesses with 9 or fewer employees.

The civil penalties for this are up to $2500 per day for each violation.

In 2011 327 cases were filed and $15.9 million has been extracted and the Citizen Plaintiffs have collected 25% [$521000]of the penalties and the attorney fee totaled $11.8 million.

Have any of you been the subject to this?

You all have heard that there very may well be some Federal immigration reform legislation passed this year. One thing that is being discussed is that all employers will be required to E Verify employees. This is required in a few states and is required on Federal contracts now. What E Verify does is determine the legal status of the employee.

The problem here is that also being discussed are penalties up to $75000 and up to 10 years in jail for violations. I don’t know about you but this seems excessive.

There is an accuracy rate of about 98.5% but a problem arises in that I don’t think there is safe harbor for employers should they not hire a person based on E Verify results. They are therefore subject to lawsuits should they take action based on the EVerify results.

Interestingly enough when I Googled what California is doing I found that AB1236 was signed by Governor Brown in October 2011 prohibiting state municipalities from passing mandatory E Verify ordinances.

What do you think?

Scott Hauge


Small Business California

2311 Taraval Street

San Francisco, CA 94116


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