California Law Updates

Commissioned Employee Rest Break Pay
A California Appeals Court recently issued a ruling that interprets Wage Order No. 7 to indicate that piece rate and commissioned employees must be paid separately for required rest breaks. Additionally, employers must ensure they do not take a draw against that compensation.

Employers who pay a base rate of at least minimum wage are likely already in compliance with the rule, as long as the necessary paid breaks are provided. However, employees who are paid on commission only or earn a piece rate may not currently receive actual compensation for breaks, as a draw against future commissions cuts into money employees will earn for sales, rather than compensating them for down time.

To ensure compliance with the law for piece rate and commission-only employees, time spent on paid breaks should be tracked and made into a line item on their regular paychecks. This time should then be paid by the employer as if the employee was a regular hourly worker during those break times. The rate of pay for this time should be the employee’s regular rate (earnings ÷ hours) or the applicable minimum wage, whichever is greater.

Single User Bathrooms Must be Gender Neutral
As of March 1, 2017, all businesses that offer single-user restrooms must designate that the restroom is available for use by all genders. This requirement includes restrooms in the offices of private employers, even if they are not open to the public. Single-user restrooms are those with no more than one toilet and one urinal, with a locking mechanism controlled by the user. Employers who have not yet done so should change any gender-specific signage as soon as possible