Updated Wage Theft Notice Released

Updated Wage Theft Notice Released

Federal and California law requires new employees to receive several pamphlets and notices about laws and programs like workers’ compensation, workplace sexual harassment, state disability insurance and paid family leave. One required employee notice — the Notice to Employee pursuant to Labor Code section 2810.5 (colloquially known as the Wage Theft Notice) — will be updated for January 1, 2024, to reflect updates from two new laws.

Generally, the Wage Theft Notice contains the employer’s information, the new hire’s wages including rate of pay and how the rate is earned, the employer’s workers’ compensation coverage information and how the employer complies with California’s paid sick leave law. California employers must provide the Wage Theft Notice to their nonexempt employees upon hire and within seven days of any information contained on the initial notice changing. Alternatively, if the change is reflected entirely on a wage statement (e.g., an employee earned a higher rate of pay) or if the change is noted on another legally required writing, then the employer does not have to provide a new Wage Theft Notice.

As previously reported, California’s paid sick leave law was expanded to provide five days or 40 hours of time off to full-time employees instead of the current rate of three days or 24 hours. This means that the section on the Wage Theft Notice describing how the employer complies with the paid sick leave law must be updated to reflect this change.

Another bill that takes effect January 1, 2024, AB 636, adds additional required information on the Wage Theft Notice. Employers will be required to note on the Wage Theft Notice the existence of a federal or state emergency or disaster declaration applicable to the county or counties where the employee is to be employed, and that was issued within 30 days before the employee’s first day of employment, which may affect their health and safety during their employment.

Due to these two new laws, California’s Department of Industrial Relations (DIR), that oversees California’s wage and hour enforcement, has provided an updated sample Wage Theft Notice that employers may utilize starting January 1. Employers should update their onboarding documents to include this updated notice for nonexempt new hires.

In the DIR’s updated FAQs related to the law requiring the Wage Theft Notice, employers do not have to provide this new template to all of their existing nonexempt employees unless there are changes to the information that employers provided in the Wage Theft Notice, in which case the employer must provide a new notice within seven days of that change. For example, if an employer is now changing how they comply with California’s paid sick leave law, and that change is different than what was on the initial Wage Theft Notice an employee received, then employers will need to provide a new Wage Theft Notice to all nonexempt employees affected by this change.

Due to the complexity of both the paid sick leave law changes and the Wage Theft Notice changes, employers are encouraged to work with legal counsel about upcoming 2024 changes.

Matthew J. Roberts, Associate General Counsel, Labor and Employment 

CalChamber members can read more about “Providing Wage Information Upon Hire” in New Employee Orientation in the HR Library. Not a member? Learn how to power your business with a CalChamber membership.

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