California Adopts New “Anti-Wage Theft” Law To Protect Workers

In January, 2012 California employees will have new protections against wage theft.

California lawmakers have enacted new laws to protect workers against employers who cheat their employees.  In a new law entitled “the Wage Theft Prevention Act of 2011” the Labor Code was amended to require employers to furnish to non-exempt employees, at the time of hiring, a notice specifying the employee's rate or rates of pay and the basis on which the employee's wages are to be calculated, e.g. hourly, daily, piece, salary,


 commission or by some other method.

The notice must include applicable overtime rates; allowances, if any, claimed as part of the minimum wage; the employer's designated regular pay day; the name of the employer, including any fictitious names under which the business operates; and the employer's physical and mailing addresses. Further, the employer must notify each employee in the form of a new or amended written notice of any changes made to this information within seven days of their implementation, unless such changes are reflected on a timely wage statement or other writing required to be provided by law.

The statute also clarifies existing law to expressly require that employers pay, in addition to applicable civil penalties, restitution to any employee who has been paid a wage less than the minimum fixed by the Industrial Welfare Commission wage orders.

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