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2012 arrives with a new legal requirement that employers need to become immediately familiar with.

California Wage Theft Prevention Act (AB 469)

This is a result of  California’s Wage Theft Prevention Act (AB 469), effective  January 1, 2012. The law covers a large number of points about employer-employee relations and penalties for non-compliance with the law. One special point focused on here is that certain information has to be provided to new employees at the time they are hired, and also again during wage claim proceedings and when the information previously provided changes.

Specifically, new Section 2810.5 of the Labor Code requires that employers provide notice to newly hired employees of details about their compensation, and about the employer itself, as described below. Employers are also sometimes required to provide further notices when these details change.

The notice must be provided in the language the employer normally uses to communicate  to the employee. The Department of Labor Standards Enforcement, State of California, has provided an optional template for this notice in a number of languages at  https://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/Governor_signs_Wage_Theft_Protection_Act_of_2011.html

Some specific points:

All private sector employers are covered unless there is a specified exception.  The notice is not required as to the following employers: the state or a political subdivision, including a city, county, or special district. It also does not apply to an employee who is exempt from the payment of overtime wages, nor does it apply to employees covered by a valid collective bargaining agreement if that agreement meets specified conditions.

Key details of the content of the notice include:

  1. the rate or rates of pay and whether paid by the hour, shift, day, week, salary, piece, commission, or otherwise, including rates for overtime
  2. meal, lodging or other allowances, if claimed as part of the minimum wage
  3. the regular payday designated by the employer
  4. the name of the employer, including any “doing business as” names it uses
  5. the physical address of the employer’s main office or principal place of business, and a mailing address, if different
  6. the telephone number of the employer
  7. the name, address, and telephone number of the workers’ compensation insurance carrier

The employer must notify the employee in writing of any changes to the information set forth in the notice within seven (7) calendar days after the time of the changes, unless  (1) All changes are reflected on a timely wage statement, or (2) Notice of all changes is provided in another writing required by law within seven days of the changes.

Regardless of whether each piece of the required information has been given in other materials, the employer has to give the employee one document (either in hard copy or electronically) with the information all contained on one form.

If, later on, the only change to the information is a change in wage rate, a new notice need not be issued, so long as the new wage rate appears on the earnings statement with the next payment of wages.

As stated above, employees who are exempt from overtime pay requirements by statute or California Wage Order are excluded from this notice requirement.

If you have any new hires or other occasion to furnish this form to an employee, we suggest you visit the website listed above, download the form in either PDF or Word Template, and start using it!