2019 was filled with employee protests claiming they are not getting the pay they deserve. Uber drivers objected to their employment and pay status. Amazon employees across the country protested the caps on their work hours and pay. AB 5 in California is wreaking havoc by virtually eliminating the independent contractor. And the list goes on.
Wage and hour claims might be some of the most common disputes that employers face, but that does not mean that employers should underestimate them. These disputes can derail businesses and cause a business enormous distress.
Here are some critical tips to help California employers prevent any wage and hour violations to avoid these disputes.
Be aware of new California laws
The most crucial step is for employers to understand the details of California’s employment laws–especially the most recent ones. For example:
- California lawmakers passed a law that increased the minimum wage for most employees to $12.00 per hour; and
- This January, Assembly Bill 5 went into effect. This law will change how employers classify their workers between contractors and employees.
Employers must stay up to date with all employment and wage laws to protect their business.
Conduct an internal pay audit
Business owners do not have to–and should not–wait for an employee’s dispute to lead to an investigation into their pay records. It might be helpful for employers to conduct their own audits to ensure they comply with both state and federal wage and hour laws.
Maintain organized records
Employers should keep records that cover several details, including:
- Each employee’s name;
- What kind of pay they earn; and
- Any relevant financial documents.
This may seem like a tedious responsibility, but it can help reduce the risk of a dispute before it happens.
Ensure you can pay employees on time
This might seem self-evident, but it is still critical. Federal and California laws are incredibly strict when it comes to employers withholding, reducing or holding back an employee’s pay since any of these actions violate the Fair Labor Standards Act.
If employers are having trouble paying their employees, it might be necessary to restructure employment or budget plans to ensure they continue to adhere to the law.