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.
To avoid overtime, taxes, and insurance obligations, unscrupulous employers are known to misclassify their employees as “independent contractors.” The practice is illegal. Misclassification hurts not only the worker, but requires legitimate California businesses to carry the tax and workers compensation burden of cheating employers. California is strengthening its laws to combat misclassification and the “underground” economy.
The State of California has modernized and increased penalties that may be assessed against contractors who violate wage and hour laws on public works. The State has passed a new law, signed by Governor Jerry Brown, increasing the penalties against contractors who violate California’s Prevailing Wage Law.
While contractors often use creative ways to calculate the proper prevailing wage rates for public work projects, California law is clear. Calculation of wages due is covered by Labor Code §1774 which requires payment of not less than the “specified prevailing rates of wages” for all hours worked. The specified rates are the rates found ... Read More