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New Laws Affecting California Employers

By January 9, 2012

There are several new California laws that went into effect January 1, 2012. These new laws affect individuals and businesses, and range from a child booster seat law to a handgun open carry law to several laws critical to California business owners. For a complete summary of the new California laws, click here. Listed below are two news laws that California employers should institute immediately into their new hire procedures.

Labor Code Section 2810.5 (AB 469) requires employers to issue a notice to all new non-exempt employees effective January 1, 2012. The notice should contain all of the following information:

“At the time of hiring, an employer shall provide each employee a written notice, in the language the employer normally uses to communicate employment-related information to the employee, containing the following information:

(a) The rate or rates of pay and basis thereof, whether paid by the hour, shift, day, week, salary, piece, commission, or otherwise, including any rates for overtime, as applicable.
(b) Allowances, if any, claimed as part of the minimum wage, including meal or lodging allowances.
(c) The regular pay date designated by the employer in accordance with the requirements of this code.
(d) The name of the employer, including any “doing business as” names used by the employer.
(e) The physical address of the employee’s main office or principle place of business, and a mailing address if different.
(f) A telephone number of the employer.
(g) The name, address and telephone number of the employers workers’ compensation insurance carrier.
(h) Any other information the Labor Commissioner deems material and necessary.”

The Labor Commissioner has issued a form that complies with this new requirement. The English Version can be accessed here. The form and non-English versions can be found on the Labor Commissioner’s Web site

Additionally, an employer must notify his or her employees 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:

(1) all changes are reflected on a timely itemized wage statement furnished in accordance with Labor Code Section 226; or
(2) notice of all changes is provided in another writing required by law within seven days of the changes.

The statute contains some exceptions to the requirement: “For purposes of this section, ‘employee’ does not include any of the following: an employee who is exempt from the payment of overtime wages by statute or other wage orders of the Industrial Welfare Commission; an employee who is covered by a valid collective bargaining agreement if the agreement expressly provides for the wages, hours of work, and working conditions of the employee, and if the agreement provides premium wage rates for all overtime hours worked and a regular hourly rate of pay for those employees of not less than 30% more than the State minimum wage.”

Employer Credit Check Law

Employers can no longer request credit reports for California residents unless they are working or seeking work in a financial institution, law enforcement or the state Justice Department. There are a few exemptions listed below, which allow an employer to request credit reports for employees or prospective employees who will work in the financial department in a business (accounting, finance, etc.) The law also exempts anyone who

(1) has access to people’s bank or credit card account information, SSN number and date of birth,
(2) has access to an employer’s proprietary information or trade secrets,
(3) signs a check, credit card, financial contract, or transfers money for an employer,
(4) has access to more than $10,000 cash, or
(5) is a manager in ‘certain industries’.

If you have any questions regarding implementation of the new laws, please contact us.