Five indispensable items employers must know about California's Wage Theft Protection Act's Notice to Employee
The Wage Theft Protection act of 2011 added Labor Code section 2810.5 requiring all private California employers to provide a written notice containing specific information to non-exempt employees upon hire. Below are five indispensable items employers should understand about the Notice to Employee (“Notice”) required under the law.
1. All private employers, regardless of size, must provide the Notice to employee with some limited exceptions.
The DLSE explains that the Notice is not required for employees “directly employed by the state or any political subdivision, including any city, county, city and county, or special district; an employee who is exempt from the payment of overtime wages by statute or the wage orders of the Industrial Welfare Commission; or for an employee who is covered by a valid collective bargaining agreement if it meets specified conditions.” So for private employers, no matter how small, must provide the Notice to an employee unless the employee is an exempt employee.
2. DLSE publishes a template Notice to Employee, but it is not required.
It is recommended that employers use the DLSE’s template to avoid any potential challenges (the most current template published as of January 2015 is embedded below). If the template is not used, the employer is still required to provide all of the information required by the law on one form to the employee. It is not compliant to provide the information piecemeal to the employee on various forms. As explained in number 4 below, the DLSE’s webpage regarding the Wage Theft Protection Act has not been updated to reflect the new template published by the DLSE to address the new paid sick leave requirement in 2015. The current Notices for 2015 can be found on the DLSE’s website at its Publications webpage (or embedded below). Hopefully the DLSE will update its website to avoid any potential employer confusion in this regard.
3. Electronic delivery is acceptable under certain conditions.
Electronic delivery of the Notice is fine as long as there is a process for the employee to acknowledge receipt of the Notice and print a copy of the Notice.
4. Notices must be in the language usually used to communicate employment policies with the employee.
The DLSE has published previous templates in various languages, such as Chinese, Spanish and Korean on its Wage Theft Protection Act page. However, the DLSE has not updated many of these translations since it has published the new Notice to Employee effective January 1, 2015 to address California’s paid sick leave requirement. In fact, the DLSE’s own page on the Wage Theft Protection Act still contains the old Notice to Employee. The current templates for 2015 are only found on the DLSE’s Publications page which contains the updated 2015 Notice in English, Spanish and Vietnamese.
5. If any information listed on the Notice changes, the notice does not have to be reissued as long as the information is listed on the employee’s next pay stub.
Employers must notify the employee in writing of any changes to the information set forth in the Notice within seven calendar days after the time of the changes, unless one of the following applies:
- All changes are reflected on a timely wage statement furnished in accordance with Labor Code section 226, or
- Notice of all changes is provided in another writing require by law within seven days of the changes.