A recently-passed piece of California legislation that will impact employers is the Wage Theft Prevention Act of 2011 (WTPA), which takes effect January 1, 2012. This law adds a new section to the California Labor Code  (Labor Code Section 2810.5).

The WTPA requires that employers provide written notice to employees at the time of hiring regarding: 1) rates of pay and the basis for compensation, including whether the rates involve payment per hour, per shift, per day, per week, or by salary, piece, commission, “or otherwise”; 2) any credits or “allowances” taken against the minimum wage (including meal or lodging); 3) the regular pay day; 4) the name of the employer (including “doing business as” names); 5) physical address of main office or principle 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 employer’s workers’ compensation carrier; and 8) “any other information the Labor Commissioner deems material and necessary.”

The last category makes clear that the Labor Commissioner will further regulate in this area. The notice does not apply to state government employees, salaried exempt employees under California state law, or employees covered by a valid collective bargaining agreement. The statute further mandates that the Labor Commissioner prepare a template form for the above categories and requires all changes to be adapted in a further notice or reflected on a “timely” wage statement.  A copy of the new template is available at the website of the Labor Commissioner.  The template was released on January 5, 2012.

The WTPA also requires that an employer notify its employees in writing of any changes to the above information within seven calendar days after the time of the changes unless the changes are reflected in a timely wage statement furnished to employees with their regular wages or if another written document required by law has been timely furnished to the employees containing the changes.

As always, if you have any questions regarding this information, do not hesitate to contact my office.

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