Employees who are paid on a piece-rate basis were given a shot in the arm by the California Legislature this year with a bill that will add to their pay. The Governor signed AB 1513, which goes into effect January 1, 2016. The new law requires piece-rate workers to be paid for rest and recovery periods, as well as “other non-productive time.”
Until this new law, employees who were compensated at a rate-per-product piece received no pay for meal or rest breaks. The new law not only requires payment for these times, it specifies a method of calculation for an hourly rate to be applied to these periods. Specifically, the law requires that the rate be set by dividing the amount of earnings for the workweek by the number of hours worked.
Larger employers are required to comply fully with the law by April 30, 2016, while smaller employers must adjust their payroll systems and practices by the January 1 effective date. The large employers, in the meantime, must pay the rest and recovery periods at no less than the minimum wage; however, after April 30, they must pay the rate established by the method prescribed. Further, if the prescribed rate is greater than the minimum wage, then the difference must be paid.
For other non-productive time, employers are required to pay at least the minimum wage. This is defined as time that is not spend on piece-rate work but is still under the control of the employer. If the employer already pays a base hourly rate plus additional piece-rate amount, then no additional payment is required for other non-productive time.
In conjunction with these changes in pay, employers must adjust the wage statements they provide to employees. Employers that do not pay a base hourly rate must provide a total of rest and recovery period hours, plus the rate per hour and the gross amount of pay for those hours. The same is true for other non-productive time for employers that do not pay a base wage rate. Contact us today to speak with a professional wage and hour attorney in California.
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