Is Your Company Complying With The New Notice And Recordkeeping Requirements Of the California Wage Theft Prevention Act Of 2011?

As we previously reported here on November 7, 2011, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law effective January 1, 2012, Assembly Bill 469, sponsored by State Assembly Member Sandre R Swanson (Dem. Oakland), known as the "Wage Theft Prevention Act of 2011."  Effective January 1, 2012, the Wage Theft Prevention Act of 2011 subjects California employers to new notice and record keeping requirements and to additional penalties for failing to comply with various provisions of the California Labor Code.  Some of the new requirements now in effect that require action on the part of affected employers are as follows:

1.  The new law amends Labor Code section 1174 to increase from two years to three years the period of time employers are required to maintain specified records, including records of hours worked and payroll records, and to forbid employers from prohibiting employees from keeping personal records of hours worked or of piece-rate units earned.

2.  The new law amends Labor Code section 226 to require employers to show on wage statements (i.e., check stubs) the name and address of the entity that secured the services of the employer, if the employer is a farm labor contractor.

3.  The new law adds to the Labor Code section 2810.5 to require employers to provide to each employee at the time the employee is hired a written notice "in the language the employer normally used to communicate employment-related information to the employee" containing all of the following information: (a) "The rate or rates of pay and basis thereof, whether paid by the hour, shift, day, week, salary, piece, commission, or otherwise, including any rates for overtime, as applicable;" (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 the Labor 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."  Further, except for information shown on "a timely wage statement furnished in accordance with Section 226," employers must also notify employees in writing within seven calendar days of any changes to the information required to be contained in the notice.  Notably, this new section of the Labor Code does not apply persons employed by any state or local government or to any employee 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 apply for those employees of not less than 30 percent more than the state minimum wage."  A template of the required notice provided by the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement is available for downloading by clicking here.

We will continue to provide updates here regarding the new legislation affecting California employers.

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