Expensive Legislation Whose Only Benefit is a Politician's Talking Point During Re-election

I absolutely despise legislation like this.  Some legislator wants to pat him or herself on the back during their re-election that they "did something" about human trafficking so they pass this law:

New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez approved a law requiring employers to post a notice containing information about the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline. The new law, H.B. 181, unanimously passed by both legislative chambers, becomes effective July 1, 2014.

Employers subject to the state Minimum Wage Act must post a sign containing the following notice in English and in Spanish and in any other written language where at least 10 percent of the workers or users of a covered facility speak that language:

NOTICE ON HUMAN TRAFFICKING: OBTAINING FORCED LABOR OR SERVICES IS A CRIME UNDER NEW MEXICO AND FEDERAL LAW. IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW IS A VICTIM OF THIS CRIME, CONTACT THE FOLLOWING: IN NEW MEXICO, CALL OR TEXT 505-GET-FREE (505-438- 3733); OR CALL THE NATIONAL HUMAN TRAFFICKING RESOURCE CENTER HOTLINE TOLL-FREE AT 1-888-373-7888 FOR HELP. YOU MAY ALSO SEND THE TEXT “HELP” OR “INFO” TO BEFREE (“233733”). YOU MAY REMAIN ANONYMOUS, AND YOUR CALL OR TEXT IS CONFIDENTIAL

Oh yeah, that is going to make a big difference.  Have you seen a labor poster wall lately?  Probably not, because no employees ever look at these things unless they are by the microwave and they have nothing better to do while waiting for their popcorn.  But every time some legislator wants to "do something" about an employment related issue, another poster is added.

Here is the really hilarious part -- do they really think that a person who who is so lawless as to engage in forced labor is going to post this poster?  Seriously?    I have this picture in my head of a southern plantation owner in 1864 tacking the Emancipation Proclamation up in the slave quarters.

I will take a picture of all the posters required in California, because I was just working on it, but here is a list of what has to be posted.

  • 3rdMoment

    1. Something must be done!
    2. This is something.
    3. Therefore, this must be done!

  • Matthew Slyfield

    Yes, that is about the extent of their thinking.

  • Ward Chartier

    Posting notices does nothing except enrich the companies that sell paper and ink and printing services. Writing the text of notices is work for lawyers. Testing the meaning of the text in notices through litigation is also work for lawyers, and a burden on the court system and on insurance companies.

    Posting notices did not universally work with the 10 Commandments, so why should posting notices work now?

    Oh, there should be an 11th Commandment: Thou shalt not waste my taxes.

  • DOuglas2

    It was with true amazement that I clicked through, thinking how unlikely it was that the state would actually assemble in one place all the postings that are required -- so that the law would at least be clear and easy to follow -- rather than forcing everyone to figure it out for themselves.

    Then I found the disclaimer: "this list is not all inclusive"

  • beautox

    How long before it's mandatory to display "You don't have to be mad to work here but it helps"

  • Harry

    DROWNING KITTENS IN LUNCHROOM SINK OR MENS TOILET PROHIBITED DURING REGULAR OFFICE HOURS AND ON FEDERAL HOLIDAYS!

  • c_andrew

    Angry Mad, Insane Mad, or both?

  • TJSawyer

    I can only marvel at the notion of determining what languages are spoken by ten percent or more of the "users of a covered facility." Better not post that notice back by the employee microwave or your users won't see it!

    I see big issues ahead if the state auditor arrives on the same day as a busload of Chinese tourists.

  • Rick C

    It will probably not surprise you to learn there are companies out there who keep track of the lists of required signage and will sell you the right ones for your state.

  • Matthew Slyfield

    Yes.

  • irandom419

    I find it funny that they have all these notices next to the microwave at work, but when I buy gas there is no mandate to disclose the amount and where all the included taxes go.

  • W.C. Taqiyya

    They can fix the posted note problem very easily. What they need is a posted note saying that all the posted notes must be read. Problem solved.

  • marque2

    We get the same - every time an underage girl gets murdered. We find out police and parole officers basically got lazy. So they pass a "murder is really bad" bill that ups the term for murder and forces the hand of parole officers for about a year until they get lazy and fall asleep again.

    Point is half these laws are unnecessary. You would just have to enforce laws that already exist. But then how would a politician look proactive?