Employers Beware Productivity Quotas and Monitoring Can Cause New Claims

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Employers Beware
Productivity Quotas and Monitoring Can Cause New Claims

Employers who have quotas for employees, run warehouses or distribution centers, or otherwise monitor productivity of employees:  new law AB 701 applies to you.[1]  Starting on January 1st, employers are prohibited from using quotas or productivity monitoring to interfere with meal or rest period requirements, use of the bathroom or occupational health and safety laws.  All work (including, for instance, COVID-19 safe workplace protocols) are considered work.  Who is covered?

  •     •Warehouse or distribution centers primarily engaged in operating merchandise warehousing and storage facilities for selling goods to other businesses (wholesale) or selling merchandising other than in brick and mortar locations – e.g. internet or catalog sales; and that
  •     •Employ 100 or more employees (including through staffing agencies) at a single warehouse center or 1,000 or more employees at one or more distribution centers in California.


It becomes laborious (pun intended).  By January 1st or within 30 days of hiring a new employee, each of these employers must provide the employee written description of each quota that applies to that employee, including the quantified number of tasks that must be performed, materials that must be produced or handled within the defined time period, and any potential adverse employment action if the employee does not meet the quota.

Any aggrieved employee that thinks the quota violates meal or rest periods or violates an occupational health & safety law may request a written description of each of their quotas during the past 90 days.  The employer must provide the response within 21 days of the request.  Worse, if the employer takes any adverse action against that employee (or group of requesting employees) during the 90 days after the request or an employee’s complaint to the employer or a governmental agency, the new law presumes the employer is retaliating against the employee(s).  The Labor Commissioner is to coordinate and enforce this law with the Department of Industrial Relations, including the Division of Occupational Safety and Health and the Division of Workers’ Compensation.  Employees can pursue these claims as well, individually, collectively, or as a private attorney general (“PAGA”) claim.

Here at Epps & Coulson, LLP we understand that employment laws may be confusing.  We are available to advise. Feel free to contact Dawn: dcoulson@eppscoulson.com

Information contained in this Memo is intended for informational and educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.  It is considered advertising under laws of some states.  Epps & Coulson, LLP encourages you to call to discuss these matters as they apply to you or your business.

Attorneys admitted to practice in
California, New York, Colorado, Texas, and Oregon

[1] Bill Text – AB-701 Warehouse distribution centers. (ca.gov)