As I stated, Brown has been busy! Here are three more new laws effective January 1, 2012. Please advise your managers especially the one concerning independent contractors. You could be held financially liable.
SB 459 (Misclassification of Independent Contractors): This new law creates stiff penalties for willful misclassification of employees as independent contractors. The law defines “willful” as “voluntarily and knowingly misclassifying” an individual. The law also makes it unlawful for an employer to charge an individual who has been willfully misclassified any fees or other deductions from compensation if those fees and deductions (e.g. for licenses, space rental, equipment) would have been prohibited had the individual been properly classified as an employee. In the event of a finding of willful misclassification, penalties may be assessed in the range of $5,000 to $25,000 per violation. Additionally, an employer in violation may be ordered to display prominently on its Internet web site (or other area accessible to employees and the general public) a notice that explains the employer has been found guilty of committing a serious violation of the law by willfully misclassifying employees, along with other prescribed information. The new law also imposes joint and several liability on individuals who, for money or other valuable consideration, knowingly advise an employer to treat an individual as an independent contractor to avoid employee status. Excepted from liability are employees who provide advice to their employer, and licensed attorneys providing legal advice to the employer.
AB 469 (Notice of Pay Details): This new law requires employers to provide each employee, at the time of hire, with a notice that specifies (1) the pay rate and the basis, whether hourly, salary, commission or otherwise, as well as any overtime rate, (2) allowances, if any, claimed as part of the minimum wage, including meals or lodging, (3) the regular payday, (4) the name of the employer, including any “doing business as” names used by the employer; (5) the physical address and telephone number of the employer’s main office or principal place of business, and a mailing address if different, and (6) the name, address and telephone number of the employer’s workers’ compensation carrier. The employer must notify each employee in writing of any changes to the information set forth in the notice within 7 days of the changes, unless such changes are elsewhere reflected on a timely wage statement or other writing required by law to be provided.
AB 1236 (E-Verify): This new law prohibits the state, or a city or county, from requiring employers to use E-Verify as a means of verifying employees they hire are authorized to work in the United States.
Unless otherwise specified most new laws take effect January 1, 2012. California employers will want to familiarize themselves with these new laws as applicable to their workforces and operations, and revise policies and procedures accordingly.