Along with the California Labor Code, the California Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Orders control many aspects of employees’ rights to overtime pay, meal breaks, rest breaks, and other terms and conditions of employment. The Industrial Welfare Commission (“IWC”) has issued 17 different wage orders, covering every type of job. These wage orders are made law by California Labor Code Section 18. Although it is required by law that every employer post the wage order(s) which is applicable to its business, many employers are not aware of this requirement.
The wage orders can be found at www.dir.ca.gov. Just do a search for “wage orders” within the website. If you do not already have the wage order for your business, you should print it out from the website, read it, and post it. Make sure to print the correct wage order for your business, and also make sure you look at the latest revision of that wage order. Although the wage orders are rather lengthy, they contain a wealth of information for employers, including such topics as:
– Definitions of exempt versus non-exempt employees;
– Daily overtime requirements;
– Alternative workweek schedules;
– Minimum wage requirements;
– Requirements for reporting time pay;
– Employer record keeping requirements;
– Rules regarding dealing with cash shortages and breakages;
– Uniforms and equipment requirements;
– Rules regarding reimbursement for meals and lodging;
– Rules regarding meal periods and rest periods;
– Requirements for changing rooms and resting facilities;
– Requirements for suitable seating and elevators;
– Workplace temperature requirements; and
– Penalties for failing to comply with the wage order.
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