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eTrends - California Enacts Wage Theft Prevention Act Similar to New York's

12.21.2011

Effective January 1, 2012, private employers in California must provide non-exempt employees with written notice concerning wage rates and other specified information. The recently enacted California Wage Theft Prevention Act added Labor Code Section 2810.5 to the California Labor Code. The new law, which becomes effective January 1, 2012, is very similar to New York's Wage Theft Prevention Act which took effect in April of this year.

Under the new California law, an employer must give a written notice to employees at the time of hiring that contains the following information:

  • the employee's rate of pay and the basis for that pay (hourly, shift, piece, commission);
  • whether the employer intends to claim allowances as part of the minimum wage, including meal or lodging allowances;
  • the regular pay day designated by the employer;
  • the name of the employer and any "doing business as” names used by the employer;
  • the physical address of the employer's main office or principal place of business, and a mailing address if different;
  • the telephone number of the employer;
  • the name, address, and telephone number of the employer's workers' compensation insurance carrier; and
  • "any other information the Labor Commissioner deems material and necessary.”

The notice required by the California law is nearly identical to the notice required under New York's Wage Theft Prevention Act with the addition of the information concerning the worker's compensation carrier. Although the California law is only applicable to non-exempt employees, the New York law is applicable to both exempt and non-exempt employees. And, in addition to providing the notice to employees at the time of hiring, New York employers must provide an annual notice including the required information even if there have been no changes in the information since the time of hire. New York employers must provide the annual notice between January 1 and February 1 each year.

Employers in California and in New York should prepare to comply with the notice requirements of their state Wage Theft Prevention Acts and should consider implementing administrative procedures to ensure compliance.

Please contact Susan Parrott with any questions.

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Smith Anderson publishes eTrends periodically as a service to clients and friends. The purpose of this eTrends is to provide general information about a significant legal development in the field of employment law. Readers should be aware that the facts may vary from one situation to another, so the conclusions stated herein may not be applicable to the reader’s particular circumstances.

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Jamie Greene
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T: 919.838.2045

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