District Court Rejects Challenge to Law Prohibiting Unilateral Deductions from Worker Paychecks on Public Work

The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California today granted motions to dismiss challenges to California Senate Bill 954 (2016), which prohibits contractors on public work from unilaterally reducing workers’ wages by taking credit for payments to industry advancement funds.  Under Senate Bill 954, contractors may only take credit for industry advancement payments that are required by a collective bargaining agreement with the workers’ representative.

In ABC-Contractor Cooperation Committee v. Becerra, a contractor and an industry advancement fund alleged that Senate Bill 954 is preempted by the National Labor Relations Act and violates the First Amendment and Equal Protection Clause.  The District Court rejected the challenges, concluding that Congress did not intend to prevent the States from allowing minimum labor standards to be varied by collective bargaining agreements and that the California statute does not restrain free speech or impermissibly discriminate.

Altshuler Berzon LLP represented the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California in defending the law.