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California’s Warehouse Quota Law

Posted April 2022 by S. Ward Heinrichs

Equal Protection Arguments Challenge California Board Diversity Laws

Labor Code §2100, aka AB701 or The Warehouse Quota Law, has been regulating warehouse quotas in California since January 1, 2022. The purpose of that law is to make sure that burdensome quotas do not infringe on the meal period, rest period, bathroom break, and other workplace rights of warehouse employees.

Under the law, a warehouse quota is:

Work standard under which an employee is assigned or required to perform at a specified productivity speed, or perform a quantified number of tasks, or to handle or produce a quantified amount of material, within a defined time period and under which the employee may suffer an adverse employment action if they fail to complete the performance standard.

In other words, a quota is a production speed requirement, a requirement that certain tasks are completed in a specific amount of time, or a requirement that a certain amount of material is processed in a specific amount of time. However, in addition, the Labor Code §2100 definition of quota also requires potential punishment for employees who do not meet the employer-mandated speed or quantity requirements.

The types of facilities that are included in the law are General Warehousing and Storage, Merchant Wholesalers for both Durable and Non-Durable Goods, and Electronic Shopping and Mail Order Houses. Before the law will apply to those types of warehouses, a single warehouse must employ at least 100 employees, or a group of related warehouses must employ at least 1,000 employees within California. Amazon has Electronic Shopping Warehouses with more than 1,000 employees in California, and many believe that its notorious quota requirements spurred the California legislature to pass Labor Code §2100.

Each employee of such a facility may request and receive a written description of applicable quotas and work speed data. In fact, employers must give written quota descriptions to all new hires. Further, employers cannot require their workers to meet quotas that interfere with a meal, rest, and bathroom breaks, or violate Cal/OSHA regulations.

Employees may sue for a court order that will require employers to provide quota descriptions, obey Cal/OSHA regulations, and that will prohibit enforcement of quotas that violate meal, rest, and bathroom breaks. They may also recover attorney’s fees and costs for bringing those claims. Additionally, an employer may not retaliate, discriminate, or take any other adverse employment action against an employee. If an employer takes adverse employment action within 90 days after an employee asks for a quota description or makes a quota complaint, then the courts will presume that the employer’s adverse employment action violated the law.

Employment Law Office of Ward Heinrichs
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Employment Law Office of WARD HEINRICHS

4565 Ruffner St. Suite 207 San Diego 92111


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