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SB-1245 Compensation: World War II slave and forced labor.(1999-2000)



Current Version: 07/28/99 - Chaptered         Compare Versions information image


SB1245:v93#DOCUMENT

Senate Bill No. 1245
CHAPTER 216

An act to add Section 354.6 to the Code of Civil Procedure, relating to compensation, and declaring the urgency thereof, to take effect immediately.

[ Filed with Secretary of State  July 28, 1999. Approved by Governor  July 27, 1999. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 1245, Hayden. Compensation: World War II slave and forced labor.
(1) Existing law authorizes actions to recover wages, but requires various actions to be brought within specified periods of time.
This bill would authorize any World War II slave labor victim or World War II forced labor victim, or heir of the victim, to bring an action in superior court to recover compensation , as defined, from any entity or successor in interest thereof, for whom the labor was performed, either directly or through a subsidiary or affiliate. It would provide that any action brought under these provisions shall not be dismissed for failure to comply with the applicable statute of limitation, provided the action is commenced on or before December 31, 2010.
(2) This bill would also set forth findings, intent, and a requirement that the Treasurer and the Public Employees’ Retirement Fund and the State Teachers’ Retirement Fund monitor investments in businesses that owe compensation to victims of slave labor.
The bill would declare that it is to take effect immediately as an urgency statute.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 (a) Thousands of victims of Nazi persecution, and the heirs of victims of Nazi persecution, are residents of the State of California.
(b) These victims of Nazi persecution have been deprived of their entitlement to compensation for their labor and for injuries sustained while performing that labor as forced or slave laborers prior to and during the Second World War.
(c) California has a moral and public policy interest in assuring that its residents and citizens are given a reasonable opportunity to claim their entitlement to compensation for forced or slave labor performed prior to and during the Second World War.
(d) To the extent that the statute of limitations applicable to claims for compensation is extended by this act, that extension of the limitations period is intended to be applied retroactively, irrespective of whether the claims were otherwise barred by any applicable statute of limitations under any other provision of law prior to the enactment of this act.

SEC. 2.

 It is the intent of the Legislature, in addition to the provisions of this act, to enact additional public policy in any other case of proven patterns of slave labor employed by firms presently doing business in California that served as the basis of ill-gotten wealth at the expense of victims who are residents of California.

SEC. 3.

 The Treasurer, the Public Employees Retirement System, and the State Teacher’s Retirement System shall monitor and report to the Legislature on investments of the state and its pension funds in companies doing business in California, and affiliates of those companies, that owe compensation to victims of slave and forced labor from 1929 to 1945.

SEC. 4.

 Section 354.6 is added to the Code of Civil Procedure, to read:

354.6.
 (a) As used in this section:
(1) “Second World War slave labor victim” means any person taken from a concentration camp or ghetto or diverted from transportation to a concentration camp or from a ghetto to perform labor without pay for any period of time between 1929 and 1945, by the Nazi regime, its allies and sympathizers, or enterprises transacting business in any of the areas occupied by or under control of the Nazi regime or its allies and sympathizers.
(2) ‛Second World War forced labor victim” means any person who was a member of the civilian population conquered by the Nazi regime, its allies or sympathizers, or prisoner-of-war of the Nazi regime, its allies or sympathizers, forced to perform labor without pay for any period of time between 1929 and 1945, by the Nazi regime, its allies and sympathizers, or enterprises transacting business in any of the areas occupied by or under control of the Nazi regime or its allies and sympathizers.
(3) “Compensation” means the present value of wages and benefits that individuals should have been paid and damages for injuries sustained in connection with the labor performed. Present value shall be calculated on the basis of the market value of the services at the time they were performed, plus interest from the time the services were performed, compounded annually to date of full payment without diminution for wartime or postwar currency devaluation.
(b) Any Second World War slave labor victim, or heir of a Second World War slave labor victim, Second World War forced labor victim, or heir of a Second World War forced labor victim, may bring an action to recover compensation for labor performed as a Second World War slave labor victim or Second World War forced labor victim from any entity or successor in interest thereof, for whom that labor was performed, either directly or through a subsidiary or affiliate. That action may be brought in a superior court of this state, which court shall have jurisdiction over that action until its completion or resolution.
(c) Any action brought under this section shall not be dismissed for failure to comply with the applicable statute of limitation, if the action is commenced on or before December 31, 2010.

SEC. 5.

 This act is an urgency statute necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety within the meaning of Article IV of the Constitution and shall go into immediate effect. The facts constituting the necessity are:
In order to provide just compensation to aging Second World War slave labor victims and Second World War forced labor victims, it is necessary that this act take effect immediately.