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CRLAF's AB 636

Governor signs CRLAF’s AB 636, Requiring Mandatory Disclosure of California Labor Rights Information

After four years of effort and 2 prior vetoes, the Governor finally signed CRLAF’s AB 636 (Kalra), creating a comprehensive California legal rights disclosure notice for H-2A farmworkers.

This first-in-the-nation landmark legislation requires H-2A growers without a union contract to provide each H-2A farmworker, on their first day of work, with a state Labor Commissioner-drafted Spanish language notice that describes in easily understandable terms approximately two dozen California labor rights and protections these workers typically do not learn about from their employers (or the federal government).

For over a decade, CRLAF has played an essential watchdog role over the operation of the H-2A program in California. Our advocacy created tangible improvements in how the Employment Development Department (EDD) processed (often inadequate or illegal) employer applications certified by U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) for the importation of guest workers, and wage theft litigation on behalf of vulnerable farmworkers has vindicated their fundamental right to be paid what was promised.

In fiscal year 2023, more than 43,000 H-2A workers were brought into California, expanding not only the ‘footprint’ of contract labor in the free labor market, but also deepening the negative impacts on housing availability. This year, we expect as many as 50,000 H-2A workers to enter California. As seen over the last several years, greater numbers of H-2A entrants led to decreased effective federal and state oversight, and a number of heightened employer abuses which we continue to attack aggressively.

We expect AB 636’s required workers’ rights notice will operate to create more legally compliant work places for H-2A farmworkers, especially since failure to provide the new notice is enforceable through litigation under the Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA). We also expect to extend the spirit of the AB 636 notice requirements to H-2A indigenous, non-Spanish speaking, farmworkers who are being recruited in ever larger numbers by California growers and labor contractors in southern Mexico and Central America. We envision requiring employers to show non-Spanish speaking employees a short video presentation covering labor protections addressed in the notice, and be subject to the same penalties for non-compliance.

CRLAF’s previous efforts to enact H-2A farmworker labor rights notice legislation included: SB 1102 (authored by former Senate Majority Leader William Monning), vetoed in 2020; and AB 857 (also authored by Assembly Labor Committee chairman Ash Kalra), vetoed in 2022. We would like to extend a deep expression of gratitude to coalition partners, who supported these bills through four different legislative sessions:

California Alliance for Retired Americans

California Coalition for Rural Housing

California Food & Farming Network

Californians for Pesticide Reform

California Employment Lawyers Association

California Immigrant Policy Center

California Institute for Rural Studies

California Labor Federation

California Teamsters Public Affairs Council

Central California Environmental Justice Network

Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy

Centro Binacional de Desarrollo Indígena Oaxaqueño

Centro de los Derechos del Migrante

Consumer Attorneys of California

Employee Rights Center

Equal Rights Advocates

Farmworker Justice

North Bay Jobs with Justice

Pesticide Action Network

Santa Clara County Wage Theft Coalition

Sunita Jain Anti-Trafficking Policy Initiative (Loyola Law School)

UFCW, Western States Council

United Farm Workers Union

Women’s Employment Rights Clinic (Golden Gate School of Law)



Edit March 2024: Click the links below to view the mandatory Notice published to the California state Labor Commissioner's website in English and in Spanish.

For more information, contact CRLAF's Director of Legislative Advocacy, Mark Schacht at:


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