ALL EMPLOYEES ARE TO RECEIVE AN ITEMIZED WAGE STATEMENT
Labor Code Section 226 has been revised to impose additional requirements on employers in connection with the wage statement they give to employees. An employer must furnish an itemized wage statement to each employee semi-monthly or at the time of each payment of wages. This applies even when the employee has authorized automatic deposit to a bank account. An employee can collect penalties up to $4000 for failure to comply. For employers hiring temporary employees, there are additional requirements for the information that must be included in wage statements.
OVERTIME PAY REQUIREMENTS FOR FIXED SALARY EMPLOYEES
Labor Code Section 515 was also revised. Payment of a fixed salary to a non-exempt employee shall be deemed to provide compensation only for the employee's regular hours, notwithstanding any private agreement to the contrary. A fixed salary to a non-exempt employee may not include any overtime pay to which the employee might be entitled. An employer may not hire a non-exempt employee for a fixed salary and later claim that the salary included overtime worked and paid. Employers must determine the hourly rate based on the fixed salary, and then pay 1.5 times the rate work of more than 8 hours per day or 40 per week. The overtime rate and pay should be separately identified on the employee's pay statement.
EMPLOYMENT CONTRACTS FOR COMMISSIONED EMPLOYEES
Labor Code Section 2751 was also revised to impose additional regulations on employers. Employment contracts for commission payments must be in writing and must set forth the method by which the commissions are to be calculated and paid. Temporary and/or variable incentive payments that increase do not have to be in writing.
DISCRIMINATORY EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES
Employers are not allowed to discriminate against people based on certain protected categories, including gender, religion, age, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy, childbirth and other categories. Federal and California law have both been revised to provide additional protections to employees. Employers must now provide a reasonable accommodation of an individual's religious dress practice or religious grooming practice absent undue hardship. An employer may not segregate the employee from the public or other employees. Employers must provide breaks for lactating women as well as use of a room or other location, other than a toilet stall, in close proximity to the employee's work area, for the employee to express milk in private.
SOCIAL MEDIA PRIVACY
One of the most controversial issues that has come up in the workplace recently involves social media websites such as FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, MYSPACE, etc. Many employers and prospective employers were demanding that employees provide access to their various social media accounts. This is no longer legal (if it ever really was). An employer may not request or require an employee or job candidate to disclose social media usernames or passwords, or to access a site while the employer watches. An employer may not retaliate against an employee or candidate for refusing to allow access to social media information.
ACCESS TO EMPLOYMENT RECORDS
Employees are entitled to certain rights regarding inspection of personnel records. Currently, employers must: o furnish itemized wage statements and keep a copy of the statement and a record of any wage deductions on file for three years. o Allow an employee to inspect personnel records regarding performance or any grievance concerning the employee. o maintain personnel records for three years following an employee's separation from employment. o Allow current and former employees to inspect and receive copies of their personnel records within 30 days of submitting a request. Under the new law, an employer is not required to comply with more than one request per year by a former employee or with more than 50 requests per month by employees' representatives, with certain exceptions. An employer must develop a written form that employees may use to request inspection and a copy of personnel files and furnish this form to employees upon request.