Friday, January 22, 2010

Employer Tip Of The Week: Be Sure To Post Applicable Wage Orders Where Employees Can Read Them Easily

By Christopher S. Andre and Scott K. Dauscher

An employer's obligations to employees regarding many working conditions are governed not only by the California Labor Code but also by Wage Orders promulgated by the California Industrial Welfare Commission. Some Wage Orders are industry specific; some Wage Orders are occupation specific. Thus, an employer's workforce might be governed by more than Wage Order.

Each of the 17 Wage Orders contain numerous requirements an employer must comply with. For example, among other things, each of the 17 Wage Orders regulates when an employer must pay non-exempt employees premium pay (i.e., overtime) and when rest periods and meal periods must be provided. Click here to view and download the applicable Wage Order(s).

Each of the 17 Wage Orders require also that the employer subject to the Wage Order post the Wage Order "in an area frequented by employees where it may be easily read during the workday." If the location of the work or other circumstances make it impractical do so, the employer "shall keep a copy of [the applicable] order and make it available to every employee upon request."

The posting of Wage Orders is not only a requirement; it can be advantageous for an employer to do so. For example, if an employer posts the applicable wage order(s), it would be more difficult for a disgruntled employee to credibly claim he or she did not know of his or her rights to take required meal and rest periods.