Wage Theft Protection Act - FAQs from the DLSE

Here are some FAQs regarding the new notices that must be provided to employees "at the time of hire."
Some thoughts:

1. The DLSE apparently takes the position that the notice must be provided to existing employees, although that requirement is not contained in the statute.  
2.  Remember that changes to any of the items in the notice have to be communicated, either by a proper wage statement or a new notice.
3.  It is not mandatory to use DLSE's template form.  Employers may create their own. However, all the information on the DLSE's form (even the information not specified in the statute, must be listed on a separate form, rather than incorporated into a larger contract, offer letter, or handbook).
4.  If the notice is given electronically, the DLSE requires some method of obtaining an acknowledgement from the employee.
5.  The DLSE's notice requires specification of whether there is an oral or written employment agreement.  Every employee is employed pursuant to an "agreement," even if the employee is "at will."  (An agreement is as simple as "I will pay you if you work today."  It also could include a written offer letter or a formal employment contract).   So, employers should specify whether the employment contract is oral or written without fear that this provision somehow compromises at-will employment.
6.  The penalty for non compliance is not specified in the law and, therefore, will likely be the "PAGA" penalties of $100 per employee per pay period for the initial violation and $200 per pay period per employee for subsequent violations.  So, it is wise to comply with this law.

Happy New Year anyway!