Jan 06, 2012 General Employment Issues

California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement Releases a Template Notice and Guidance Regarding the California Wage Theft Prevention Act’s Notice Requirements

Late last week, the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (“DLSE”) published a template notice and guidance regarding employers’ notice obligations under the California Wage Theft Prevention Act (“WTPA”).  The WTPA took effect on January 1, 2012.  Under this new law, private California employers must provide most non-exempt employees with written notice regarding their pay and other relevant information, in the language the employer normally uses to communicate employment-related information.[1]  This notice must be provided at the time of hiring, and employers must also notify employees following changes to any of the information in the required notice.[2]  (For background information regarding the requirements of this new law, please see our prior client alert at /articles-440.html). 

The DLSE has now published a template notice containing the information that must be provided at the time of hiring and FAQs regarding the Act’s notice requirements.  These materials are available on the DLSE’s website, at http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/Governor_signs_Wage_Theft_Protection_Act_of_2011.html. The template notice is currently available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Tagalog.  The FAQs explain that the DLSE will also “endeavor to provide other translations.”  The FAQs also provide guidance on other topics, including employers’ use of their own forms in lieu of the DLSE’s template notice; requirements for providing the notice electronically; steps an employer should take if an employee refuses to sign the required notice; and the circumstances under which an employee must receive a new notice. 

Please do not hesitate to contact any of our attorneys if you have any questions regarding the materials recently published by the DLSE or if you would like assistance with compliance with the California Wage Theft Prevention Act. 

[1] Notice is not required for: (1) employees classified as exempt from overtime under California law; (2) employees directly employed by the state or any political subdivision thereof, including any city, county, city, and county, or special district; or (3) employees covered by valid collective bargaining agreements if the agreements expressly provide for wages, hours of work, and working conditions, and provide premium wage rates for all overtime hours worked and a regular hourly rate of pay for those employees of not less than 30 percent more than the state minimum wage.

[2] An early version of the FAQs posted on the DLSE’s website provided that this notice “should be given to all current employees and then to all new employees at the time of hire.”  There is no requirement in the text of the WTPA that the notice be provided to all current employees, and this statement was subsequently removed from the FAQs posted on the DLSE’s website.