I n October 2011, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a number of wage and hour measures that are desigend to provide more protections to California workers and impose strict civil and criminal liability on employers violating labor laws. Among them is the Wage Theft Prevention Act of 2011. The Wage Theft Prevention Act of 2011, that will become effective in January 1, 2012, was enacted to amend Sections 98, 226, 240, 243, 1174, and 1197.1 of the California Labor Code. The Act will also add Sections 200.5, 1194.3, 1197.2, 1206, and 2810.5 to the Code relating to employment.
Section 2810.5 of the Wage Theft Prevention Act of 2011
The focus of this article is a newly added section 2810.5 of the Wage Theft Prevention Act of 2011. According to Section 2810.5, as of January 1, 2012, each employer will be required to provide a written notice of specified basic job terms to all nonexempt employees. In addition, if employers change any of the specified basic job terms, they are now required to provide prompt notice of such changes. The following is a summary of key provisions of Section 2810.5.
Mandatory Written Notice
At the time of hiring, employer must provide each employee with a written notice. The notice must contain the following information:
a) a rate of pay and basis upon which the pay is to be calculated, including any rates for overtime. This applies to all employees whether paid by the hour, shift, day, week, salary, piece, commission, or otherwise;
b) allowances, if any, claimed as part of the minimum wage, including meal or lodging allowances;
c) the regular payday designated by the employer in accordance with the requirements of this code;
d) the name of the employer, including any “doing business as” names used by the employer;
e) the physical address of the employer’s main office or principal place of business, and a mailing address, if different;
f) the telephone number of the employer;
g) the name, address, and telephone number of the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier; and
h) any other information the Labor Commissioner deems material and necessary.
Mandatory Notice of Changes
If an employer makes changes to the information set forth in the notice, an employer has seven days to notify all affected employees in writing about the changes. No notice of changes is required if the changes are reflected on a timely wage statement furnished in accordance with Section 226 (i.e. paycheck) or notice of all changes is provided in another writing required by law within seven days of the change.
These notices must be prepared in the language the employer normally uses to communicate employment-related information to the employee.
Section 2810.5 does not apply to certain employees. Specifically, an employer is not required to provide notices to the following employees:
a) employees directly employed by the state or any political subdivision thereof, including any city, county, city and county, or special district.
b) employees who is exempt from the payment of overtime wages by statute or the wage orders of the Industrial Welfare Commission.
c) An employee who is covered by a valid collective bargaining agreement if the agreement expressly provides for the wages, hours of work, and working conditions of the employee, and if the agreement provides premium wage rates for all overtime hours worked and a regular hourly rate of pay for those employees of not less than 30 percent more than the state minimum wage.
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The Labor Commissioner soon should publish employer guidance or FAQs that will help employers to comply with the Act, including the required notice template. If you have questions regarding this article or need legal consultation on other employment law related problems, feel free to contact our San Francisco Employment Law Attorney.