New Employment Laws for 2012: Wage Theft Protection Act

Governor Jerry Brown occasionally wielded his veto pen this past year, but he also approved a number of new laws that will affect California employers. Seeing as many of these will be going into effect on January 1, 2012, we will be discussing what each one means in the coming weeks.

Today, we will talk about Assembly Bill 469 (AB 469), otherwise known as the Wage Theft Protection Act of 2011. The new mandatory employee notification requirements makes numerous additions and changes to the wage and hour provisions of the Labor Code, although some of the bill’s critics have referred to it as the “Job Killer Act” for the civil penalties ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 per violation for employers who “willfully misclassify” independent contractors.

The new law requires employers to give a written notice, in the language the employer normally uses to communicate employment-related information to the employee, that clearly states:

  • Rates of pay and the basis for compensation, whether paid by the hour, shift, day, week, salary, piece, commission or otherwise, including any rates for overtime
  • Any credits or allowances claimed as part of the minimum wage, including meal or lodging
  • The designated regular pay day
  • The name of the employer, including any “doing business as” names
  • The physical address of the employer’s main office or principal place of business and mailing address, if different
  • The telephone number of the employer
  • The name, address, and telephone number of the employer’s workers’ compensation carrier
  • Any other information the Labor Commissioner deems material and necessary

Brown signed AB 469 on October 9, 2011, and the bill is modeled after New York’s Wage Theft Prevention Act (WTPA) that also goes into effect on the first day of the new year. We will go over more new employment laws for 2012 later this week, but right now, our Los Angeles employment lawyers want to hear from you. What do you think of this new employment law? What effect would you expect this to have?

Law Offices of Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob – Los Angeles employment attorneys