Who’s Hiring You? New Law Requires Employers to Share Basic Information with Workers When They Are Hired

Alert number: 
3
April 2, 2012

Background

Every worker in California has a right to know how much and how often they are going to be paid for their work, including rates of pay for regular and overtime wages. There is a new law in California that protects workers and makes sure that they understand these basic facts about their job.

New Law

On October 9, 2011, Governor Brown signed a new law: The Wage Theft Prevention Act (Labor Code Section 2810.5). This law requires that employers inform workers as soon as they are hired about how they will be paid. The new law took effect January 1, 2012.

According to the law, workers must be clearly told about:

  • The rate of pay and whether the rate is based on an hourly, daily, or weekly basis— including workers earning a base salary, commissions, or other form of calculation. This also includes any applicable overtime rates;
  • Any allowances such as meals or lodging that the employer is counting against the employee’s minimum wages;
  • When the regular payday is; and
  • Basic contact information about the employer, including the name of the employer, the employer’s main business address and mailing addresses, the employer’s telephone number, and identity of the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier.

According to the new law, this information needs to be given to workers in a written notice in the language that the employer uses to communicate with the workers.

This new law does NOT apply to a worker who is:

  • 1. Employed by the State of California (or any subdivision of the State of California);
  • 2. Exempt from the payment of overtime; or
  • 3. Covered by a valid collective bargaining agreement (for example, many union members are covered by a collective bargaining agreement).

Example

Mr. Craig was hired on March 1, 2012 as food preparer at a local restaurant. Although he filled out a job application, it did not contain any information about the terms of employment. On Mr. Craig’s first day of work, his new employer informed him that they would pay him the minimum wage. No other information was provided to Mr. Craig at the time of hire. Mr. Craig’s employer has failed to comply with the requirements of Labor Code 2810.5. Mr. Craig’s employer did not provide any written notice outlining the relevant employment information (rates of pay, employer’s background information, worker’s compensation information).

Guidance for Workers

If you were hired in 2012 and you do not fall under the law’s exceptions (1, 2, or 3, above) you should have received a notice including this information when you were hired. Workers can request a copy of this document from their employer and can reference the Labor Commissioner’s website to review this document in six different languages (English, Vietnamese, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, and Tagalog).

You can also read more information about this law on the website for the Labor Commissioner’s office.

Claims

If you have been denied this information by your employer and would like to get further assistance, you can contact your nearest labor commissioner’s office.

FURTHER INFORMATION

You can find free information about worker’s rights on our website. If you have additional questions, please contact our Workers’ Right Clinic at 415-864-8208 or toll-free at 866-864-8208.

This alert is intended as an information source for clients and friends of Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center. The content should not be construed as legal advice, and readers should not act upon information in this publication without professional counsel. This material may be considered advertising under certain rules of professional conduct.