by Sayema Hameed
On April 12, 2012, the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) issued revised FAQs regarding the new California Wage Theft Prevention Act of 2011. The DLSE also issued a revised Notice template for use by employers. The Wage Theft Prevention Act of 2011, which adds Section 2810.5 to the California Labor Code, went into effect January 1, 2012. The law requires all employers to provide non-exempt employees, at the time of hire, a written notice that contains specific employment information.
The written notice to employees must include the following information:
√ The employer’s rate(s) of pay and how the employee will be paid (salary, hourly, commission);
√ The rates for overtime (simply stating the multiplier for overtime (e.g., 1½ and/or double the regular rate) is not sufficient);
√ Any allowances claimed as part of the minimum wage, including meal or lodging allowances;
√ The employer’s regular payday;
√ The employer’s name, including any fictitious business names under which it operates;
√ The employer’s physical and mailing addresses; and
√ Contact information for the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier.
The California Labor Commissioner’s revised notice template, for use by employers to comply with this notice requirement, and frequently asked questions are available here: http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/Governor_signs_Wage_Theft_Protection_Act_of_2011.html
FAQ #10 explains that the notice template has been updated to indicate that a worker is not required to sign the notice (the Acknowledgment of Receipt section of the notice template is optional). An employer is simply obligated to ensure that the employment and wage-related information on the notice provided to the employee is accurate and complete.
FAQ #21 clarifies that the notice requirement “has nothing to do with ‘at will’ employment in California”; in other words, this notice requirement has no effect on the right of an employer and employee to terminate employment with or without cause at any time (absent an employment agreement that states otherwise).
Notably, FAQ #27 explains that an employer who used the previous notice template is not required to issue a new notice to employees until there is a substantive change in the provided information. Employers who used the previous notice template are in compliance with Labor Code Section 2810.5 as long as the employment information provided in earlier notice remains the same.
If there is a substantive change in the information previously provided on an old template, then the employer must use the newest notice to communicate such change within 7 calendar days of such change. All new hires after April 11, 2012 should be provided notice via the newest notice template on the DLSE website.