“Time to Cure” paystub violations – a “heads up” and some personal opinion!

On Friday, October 2, 2015, Governor Brown signed AB 1506 – a “pro-employer” law (!). But . . . well, “meh.”

To slightly paraphrase the official Legislative Counsel Digest, current California law requires an employer to provide employees with certain information regarding wages, such as the inclusive dates of the period for which the employee is paid and the name and address of the legal entity that is the employer, either semimonthly or at the time of each wage payment. The law did not allow an employer a “cure period” when an employer discovered mistakes – an employee could simply bring an action.

AB 1506 – which is effective immediately – changes things a wee bit. The law provides an employer with the right to cure a violation of the rules: the requirement that an employer provide its employees with the inclusive dates of the pay period and the name and address of the legal entity that is the employer before an employee may bring a civil action. The bill provides that a violation is only considered cured upon a showing that the employer has provided a fully compliant, itemized wage statement to each aggrieved employee, as specified. The bill would limit the employer’s right to cure with respect to the specified violations once in a 12-month period, as specified.

So great, right? Well, it is nice to have something in the wage and hour rules that an employer can cure when a mistake is made – but to offer some rare commentary, I view this as one of those rules where the cure opportunity is kind of “meh.” I’d be more excited about the opportunity to cure alleged violations where employers have historically had troubles – and not always because of some nefarious, evil impetus, but rather because the wage and hour rules are confusing! Like how about a cure where the Administrative Exemption was mis-applied, or the Learned Profession Exemption, or any exemption with “factors” that are subject to subjective analysis (in my humble opinion).   I don’t think I’m out on a limb to say many employers would embrace a penalty-free opportunity to cure! – while making the employee “whole” of any lost wages.

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