Most of the California Wage Orders say that: “All working employees shall be provided with suitable seats when the nature of the work reasonably permits the use of seats.” The problem with that requirement is that no one knows how to define “suitable seats,”
“Wage Theft” is the term used now for employers who fail to understand all the nuances of California’s ridiculously complicated payroll laws. Mischaracterize an employee as an independent contractor (an issue state agencies can’t even agree on) and you’re a wage thief.…
I’ve made no secret of the fact that I think “wage theft” is a ridiculous term for employers who don’t understand the nuances of California’s ridiculously complicated payroll requirements. If someone is intentionally violating the wage and hour laws, then I can see how the term would apply. But the vast majority of employers I…
Actually, it’s not a new police procedural coming this Fall. As I’ve written before, the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement now has a Criminal Investigation Unit – with powers to issue search warrants, make arrest, and even carry guns.
Like many, my initial reaction to labor commissioners with guns can best be described as…
I have the privilege of participating in a panel discussion on The DLSE’s Growing Arsenal: What Employers Need to Know. Joining me on the panel will be:
- Elliot S. Beckelman, Attorney, Department of Industrial Relations, DLSE, and Member, Criminal Investigations Unit; and
- Shannon Walpole, Corporate Counsel Director, Employment Law, Ross Stores, Inc.
The presentation runs from 8:30 to 9:30 on…
DLSE updates Wage Theft Protection Act Notice.…
Continue Reading DLSE Issues New Form For Wage Theft Protection Act Notice
Yesterday, the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement issued a press release announcing that it was launching a Criminal Investigation Unit to investigate “wage theft and other criminal activities against workers.”
“Wage theft” is part of the DLSE’s new lingo (see, for example, The Wage Theft Protection Act). Presumably, it’s intended to suggest that employers who don’t correctly pay employees are stealing from them, as opposed to being confused about the myriad vague and shifting payroll requirements in California.
So how do you combat crime? With armed cops, of course! “The CIU is made up entirely of sworn peace officers who have completed the police academy[,] . . . report directly to the Labor Commissioner[, and are] . . . permitted to carry firearms.”
The only way I can make sense of any of this is if the sale of the TV rights to CIU: Criminal Investigation Unit will be used to pay down the state’s massive budget deficit.
As I write this, the press release isn’t available online. So I’ll reproduce it below the picture of CIU officers moving in on an employer who miscalculated the regular rate of pay.
As we reported here, a newly enacted California statute (excitingly named “The Wage Theft Protection Act”) requires employers to give new employees a written notice specifying the rate or rates of pay, the basis on which the wages are to be calculated (such as hourly, piece rate, commission, etc.), the applicable overtime rates, the designated regular pay day, and the name and mailing address of the employer. The statute also specified that the notice had to contain “any other information the Labor Commissioner deems material and necessary.”
Well the Labor Commissioner, through her alter-ego the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, has taken the ball and run with it. As the year was winding to a close, the DLSE made a template available here and posted FAQs here that say that all the information included in the template is required in any notice given to employees.
So in addition to what is specified in the statute, the notice must contain the following:
- The employer’s form of business (e.g. corporation, LLC, sole proprietorship);
- Whether the employer uses another company to hire employees or administer wages or benefits and, if so, information identifying that company;
- The form of the employment agreement (more on this below); and
- Information identifying the workers’ comp insurer (including the policy number) or, if the employer is self-insured for workers’ comp, the “Certificate Number for Consent to Self-Insure.”
There are also four paragraphs of language at the end of the DLSE template about the employer’s obligation to notify employees of changes, what categories of employees don’t need to receive the notice, how to find the complete statute online, and the legal significance of the employee’s signature.
There are a number of issues here, but I want to focus on the part of the form that reads:
Employment agreement is (check box): ? Oral ? Written
The DLSE has issued a template for use by employers in complying with the notice requirements of the Wage Theft Protection Act. As discussed in a previous blog post, the provision of specific information to each employee at the time of hire will be required beginning January 1, 2012. In addition, the DLSE has…
On the heels of another favorable appellate decision earlier this year, a recent Court of Appeal decision has held that employees are not entitled to reporting time pay when attending a scheduled staff meeting lasting less than two hours. In the case of Aleman v. AirTouch Cellular (PDF), decided on December 21, the employee claimed…