For wage and hour purposes, California includes employers that utilize motor vehicles to move people or objects in the category of Transportation. Examples of employers included in this category would be employers in the field of logistics, fluid transport, or a taxi service, a limousine service, employers engaged in parcel delivery, or similar service. My law firm continues to provide services and support to California employers in these industries. As a California employer in this industry, here are some general, state-law requirements and protocols of which you must be aware:
Wage & Hour Orders: Of course, California employers are subject to the minimum requirements of the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act. But, California’s minimum wage and overtime requirements exceed Federal Standards:
1. Applicable IWC Order: Wage Order 9, which must be posted at the employer’s facility.
2. Cal. Minimum Wage: $8.00/hr., as of January 1, 2008
3. Cal. Overtime Pay Requirements: Unless a specified exemption applies, time worked in excess of (8) eight hours in one day or in excess of (40) forty hours in a week or for the first eight hours of work on the seventh day must paid at the rate of one and one-half (1.5) times the employee’s regular rate of pay. Any work in excess of (12) twelve hours in a single day or in excess of (8) hours on the seventh day must be compensated at the rate of two times (2.0) the employee’s regular, hourly rate of pay.
4. Applicability of Federal Motor Carrier Exemption to Overtime Pay Requirements: Employers whose employees are engaged in the transportation of goods and services across state lines might be subject to an exemption from the overtime pay requirements of both state and Federal law. However, strict requirements must be met for this exception to apply. A legal review of the applicability of the exemption should first be conducted to determine whether the exemption applies.
5. Other Exemptions to Overtime Pay Requirements: An employer who misclassifies an employee as salaried may inadvertently commit numerous violations of State and Federal wage and hour laws. A legal review of such classifications is strongly recommended to avoid fines, penalties and other liability for misclassifications.
6. Meal and Rest Periods: An employer must provide the opportunity for an off-duty meal period of at least (30) thirty minutes to every employee who works more than (5) five hours daily, with a paid, (ten) minute rest period, in the middle of the shift, for every four hours worked. This means, for example, that a full-time employee, who works (8) hours per day, must have the opportunity for at least one, off-duty meal period and two, paid rest periods each day.
7. Uniforms: When uniforms are required to be worn by the employer as a condition of employment, such uniforms shall be provided and maintained by the employer, at the employer’s expense.
Retention of Personnel Records and Payroll Records: Personnel records must be retained during employment and for (2) two years after separation of employment. Generally, payroll records must be maintained for (3) three years after date of creation. Payroll records include, of course, timecards and time records for each employee who is an hourly-paid employee, together with records of all payroll deductions, gross pay and net pay to each employee. Time cards and time records should include not only all hours worked, but also meal periods. Authorized rest periods need not be recorded.
Prohibition Against Discrimination/Harassment: For employers with (5) five or more employees, California law prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, marital status, sex, age or sexual orientation of any person. California has a general prohibition against language restrictions in the workplace, except for business necessity. For all employers with (1) one or more employees, harassment for the same bases listed above is also prohibited. In California, any person who engages in sexual harassment in employment may be personally liable, which includes any employee, supervisor, officer, director or managing agent of a business.
Required Supervisor Training to Prevent Sexual Harassment in Employment: California requires every employer with 50 or more employees to provide its supervisors with two hours of interactive training every two years to prevent harassment in employment.
Pregnancy Leave & Family Medical Leave: California requires all employers to provide up to four months of pregnancy leave. Also, employers with 50 or more employees must provide up to (12) twelve weeks of family care and medical leave within a twelve month period, to any employee with more than 12 months of service and with at least 1,250 hours of service within the previous (12) twelve month period.
Union-Targeted Industry: This is an industry frequently targeted by the unions for organizing activity. To insure that you remain union-free, please contact my office for further guidance and assistance. For a preview of renewed, union-organizing activity, that will target your Business if the Democrats retake the White House, please click on “The Employee Free Choice Act.”
This is a partial summary, not an all-inclusive list. Please consider this a general description of some applicable laws. It is not intended to provide specific, legal advice. Please contact my office for specific guidance and support on a given issue.