California’s Wage Theft Prevention Act of 2011

California’s Wage Theft Prevention Act of 2011 (WTPA), which takes effect January 1, 2012, adds new record-keeping requirements for employers. The Act adds a new section to the California Labor Code that is similar to a law recently passed in New York.

The WTPA requires employers to provide written notice to employees at the time of hiring regarding:

  • 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”;
  • Any credits or “allowances” taken against the minimum wage (including meal or lodging);
  • The regular pay day;
  • The name of the employer (including “doing business as” names);
  • Physical address of main office or principle 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 carrier; and,
  • “Any other information the Labor Commissioner deems material and necessary.”

The last category clearly suggests that the State Labor Commissioner will further regulate in this area.

The required notice does not apply to state government employees, exempt employees under California state law, or employees covered by a valid collective bargaining agreement.

The WTPA also requires that an employer notify its employees in writing of any changes to the above information within seven (7) 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.

The Division of Labor Standards Enforcement has recently issued a notice template.  I recommend using this template to avoid any omissions in the required notice.

Although the statute does not expressly state how long an employer must maintain copies of these forms, I suggest maintaining them for a period of four years. Please feel free to contact me should you have any questions regarding this new record keeping requirement.