Over the last decade, California employers have witnessed a state-wide increase in wage-and-hour lawsuits filed in state and federal courts. Employers’ failure to pay split-shift premiums is often alleged as a cause of action. This post is written in a Q&A form to provide employers and employees with brief guidelines on how California split-shift law works. Keep in mind that these rules apply only to hourly non-exempt employees.
In establishing their payroll policies and procedures, many California transportation industry employers often have to decide whether they should pay the drivers an hourly rate or flat rate compensation. While both types of payments are legal under California and Federal wage-and-hour laws, employers must be particularly careful when drivers are paid on a flat fee basis (or “piece rate”).
In its recent opinion Aleman (Michael) v. Airtouch Cellular, (Cal. 2012), (Cal. 2012), the California Court of Appeals examined the application of two important provisions from the Industrial Welfare Commission‘s Wage Order No. 4-2001 (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 8, § 11040): (1) reporting time compensation and (2) split shift premiums.
If I were to give a single legal advice to any employer who wants to comply with wage-and-hour laws, it would be: “Keep accurate employment records for all workers!” During the last few years, California employers have witnessed a drastic increase in wage-and-hour litigation.