AB 469 -California Adopts NY "Wage Theft" Law

When I covered some of Governor Jerry Brown's last minute bill signings, I left out perhaps the most obnoxious new law.  That's what I get for hurrying. 

Effective 1/1/12, employers are going to have to begin complying with Labor Code Section 2810.5.  This law requires employers to provide new hires with a written notice of various items of 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 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.
(H) Any other information the Labor Commissioner deems material and necessary.

The good news is that the law requires the Labor Commissioner to prepare a template and make it available.
More good news - this provision does not apply to exempt employees (although if someone claims to be "misclassified" then there will be a dispute over whether this notice was due.) So, employers may want to provide the notice to exempt employees anyway.

Mostly bad news though - If an employer makes changes to the above listed information, the employer must provide notice of the change within seven days either by providing a written amendment, a whole new notice, or via paycheck stub if that information is contained in the paycheck stub.

Naturally, even though items C and G are already covered by required posters, the law does not repeal the poster requirement.

Public employers need not worry about this because they are exempt from the requirement!
Most employees covered by a valid collective bargaining agreement also are not entitled to the notice (if they make more than 30% more than minimum wage).

This provision is contained in AB 469. This new law contains other provisions, such as increasing a variety of penalties.  It also imposes more disclosure requirements on Farm Labor Contractors.

Of significance, it increases the statute of limitations for the DLSE to collect penalties from 1-3 years. That new statute of limitations does not appear to apply to private enforcement actions, though.

Again, this applies only to new hires, but it takes effect on 1/1/12. Employers will have to put in place procedures very quickly.  However, employers already operating in New York will recognize that this new law is quite similar to a NY law enacted a year or two ago.

Yep, I can smell the number of jobs this one is going to create. At the DLSE and law firms!  OK, I kid, I kid. ::cough:::

We will have more information about this as it becomes available...

AB 469 is here.