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What is the Wage Theft Prevention Act?

By Thomas M Lee

The Wage Theft Prevention Act of 2011 ("WTPA") added a new section to the Labor Code which as of January 1, 2012 requires certain employers to provide each new non-exempt employee with a written notice at the time of hiring which contains the following information: (1) the employee's pay rate or pay rates, and basis thereof, whether paid by the hour, shift, day, week, salary, piece, commission, or otherwise, including any overtime rates, as applicable; (2) allowances included as part of the minimum wage calculation, including meal or lodging allowances; (3) the employer's regular payday; (4) the employer's name, including any "doing business as" names; (5) the employer's physical address of its main office or principal place of business, and a mailing address, if different; (6) the employer's telephone number; (7) the name, address, and telephone number of the employer's workers' compensation insurance carrier; and (8) any other information the California Labor Commissioner ("Commissioner") deems material and necessary.

In lawsuits for unpaid overtime wages against corporate employers, it is common for employees to name not only the corporation but also the individual shareholders, officers, and/or directors of the corporation to ensure that any eventual judgment will be collectible. Corporate employers who violate the WTPA by failing to give the mandated written notices, or any other documents, such as a paystub, with the name and contact information of the actual employer may leave their shareholders, officers, and directors at risk for liability.

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