The Who-What-Where-When and Why of New Employment Laws

by | Dec 14, 2011

The Who-What-Where-When and Why of New Employment Laws

The Who-What-Where-When and Why of New Employment Laws

Employers and employees have less than one month to become familiar with the requirements and benefits of the new California laws, effective January 1, 2012. We’re here to give you a quick snapshot of the who-what-where-when and why’s for some of the employment laws most likely to affect you.

Wage Theft Prevention Act – AB 469

 

Who:           

Private California Employers, hiring new employees who are not exempt or not covered by a collective bargaining agreement and who earn at least 30% above the minimum wage.

What:          

Must provide information to new hires with wage information, including: rate and basis, such as whether the employee is salaried, hourly, or commission; overtime rates; allowances claims as part of minimum wage; payday information; employer information including names, DBA names, address, and telephone number; workers compensation insurance carrier, address and telephone number.

Also must provide notice of any changes of this information within 7 days of change. The Labor Commissioner is currently working on a notice template, expected to be released mid-December.

Where:        

In a notice provide by the employer

When:          

At the time of hire for any non-exempt employee, starting January 1, 2012

Why:           

To prevent wage theft by presenting wage rates at time of hiring.

Employer Credit Checks – AB 22

Who:           

Most California Employers. Excluded: financial institutions and businesses required by law to perform credit checks

What:          

Prohibited from using consumer credit reports for employment purposes, subject to several exceptions, including: managerial position, positions where employees have access to money (at least $10,000 regularly) or confidential information, sworn police officers, financial institutions, name signatories for employer credit cards, and Department of Justice positions.

Where:        

During the hiring process

When:          

 Effective January 1, 2012

Why:           

Supporters argued that a credit score has nothing to do with a person’s character or ability to do their job effectively, especially in this economy. Credit reports often contain errors and are disproportionately low for women and minorities, typically in low-wage jobs.

 

Independent Contractor Misclassification – SB 459

 

Who:           

California Employers, who willfully misclassify workers as an independent contractor

What:          

Will be subject to fines between $5000 and $25,000.

Where:        

During the hiring process

When:          

Effective January 1, 2012

Why:           

 Supporters argued that a credit score has nothing to do with a person’s character or ability to do their job effectively, especially in this economy. Credit reports often contain errors and are disproportionately low for women and minorities, typically in low-wage jobs.

Commission Agreements – AB 1396

 

 Who:          

 Private California Employers who pay employees on a commission basis, in whole or in part

What:          

Must have an agreement with the employee regarding commissions, which includes the calculation of commissions. A receipt of the agreement, signed by both the employee and the employer, must be retained by the employer. The agreement remains in force until termination of employment or a new superseding agreement. Failure to comply by January 1, 2013 could subject an employer to liability for penalties of $100 per pay period, per affected employee, under the Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act

Where:        

In a written contract

When:         

  When an employer enters into an employment contract, starting January 1, 2013

Why:           

A previous statute required Californians employed by an out-of-state company to have these contracts when working on a commission basis, but it was declared unconstitutional because the Commerce Clause and Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution forbids its discriminatory treatment of out-of-state employers and their in-state counterparts.  The statute remains on the books, but has no enforcement. By requiring all in-state employers to provide the same agreements, all constitutional violations are resolved.

Leaves of Absence for Organ Donation SB 272

Who:           

Private employers with 15 or more employees

What:          

Must provide a leave of absence not exceeding 30 days in any one year period to an employee who donates an organ to another person. Also, must provide a leave of absence not more than 5 days in any one year period to an employee who donates bone marrow. Discrimination against employees who exercise this right is prohibited. Employers may require an employee to use accrued but unused vacation or sick leave, unless that would violate existing collective bargaining agreements.

When:          

Effective January 1, 2012

Why:           

 To protect employment for those who choose to donate organs to another person. 

Collection of Damages for minimum wage violations – AB 240

Who:           

 Employees in California

What:          

 May request liquidated damages for a complaint before the Labor Commissioner for a violation of minimum wage law.

When:         

  January 1, 2012

Why:           

Prior law required an employee to file a minimum wage violation claim seeking recovery of liquidated damages through court action. This new law gives jurisdiction to the Labor Commissioner to hear such claims. 

 

Papers used by a Sacramento Wage Claim Lawyer

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