Watch for Unknown Wage Order Requirements

Failure to comply with unknown wage order requirements has led to hundreds of California class actions over the past few years.  Many of these are “seating” actions, where the employer did not provide suitable seating during an employee’s shift.  Providing seating where “work reasonably permits the use of seats,” and providing nearby seating when sitting is not always practical, is required under almost all wage orders.

Employers should review the wage order(s) applicable to their workplace to determine “unknown” wage order requirements such as:

  • Suitable seating during work, or making seating available nearby;
  • Lockers, closets or the equivalent for safekeeping of “outer clothing” while working
  • Change rooms providing “reasonable privacy and comfort” if employees must change clothes that are separate from restrooms
  • Maintaining temperature and humidity providing “reasonable comfort” given industry standards;
  • Maintaining rest areas, changing rooms and restrooms at 68 degrees or higher in cold months;
  • Providing elevators for building that are four floor or higher.

Failure to watch for these issues can lead to citations by the Labor Commissioner or worse, potential lawsuits (or class-action suits) by employees seeking penalties under state law.

All state wage orders can be viewed here.

Source: Rybicki & Associates  |  2016 © Copyright Payroll Masters

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