As we mentioned this morning, Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed just about everything the Chamber of Commerce didn't like. The Chamber didn't hate all of the wage & hour measures passed this year, however. Schwarzenegger signed two wage & hour measures, both of which benefit employers:
Senate Bill 812 (Correa): Pharmacist alternative workweeks.
Existing law generally requires premium overtime rates of pay for work in excess of 8 hours in a day and work in excess of 40 hours in a workweek with specified exceptions, including where the employer and employees have agreed to an alternative workweek pursuant to specified procedures. The Industrial Welfare Commission, pursuant to constitutionally authorized delegated powers from the Legislature, has established regulations, denominated wage orders, governing wages, hours, and working conditions in various industries. Pharmacists, depending on the nature of their work, may be regulated by Wage Order 7, relating to the mercantile industry, or Wage Order 4, relating to professional, technical, clerical, mechanical, and similar occupations, including employees in the health care industry. Although both wage orders permit the adoption of alternative workweek schedules by agreement for those employees performing work in those industries, Wage Order 7 requires that any such agreement provide not less than 2 consecutive days off within a workweek, whereas, Wage Order 4 has no such restriction.
This bill would provide that pharmacists engaged in the practice of pharmacy who are employed in the mercantile industry, pursuant to Wage Order 7, shall be permitted to adopt alternative workweek schedules allowed by Wage Order 4, including alternative workweeks that can be adopted by employees working in the health care industry.
Senate Bill 929 (Codgill): Computer programmer exemptions / Prevailing wage determinations.
Existing law provides that 8 hours of labor constitutes a day's work. Under existing law, any work in excess of 8 hours in one workday and any work in excess of 40 hours in any one workweek and the first 8 hours worked on the 7th day of work in any one workweek is required to be compensated at the rate of no less than 11/2 times the regular rate of pay for an employee. Existing law exempts a professional employee in the computer software field from this overtime compensation requirement if the employee is primarily engaged in work that is intellectual or creative, the employee's hourly rate of pay is not less than $41, and the employee meets other requirements. This bill would decrease the hourly rate of pay requirement for this exemption to not less than $36. Existing law generally requires contractors and subcontractors performing work on public works, as defined, costing over $1,000 to pay to their workers the general prevailing rate of per diem wages, including these wage rates for holiday and overtime work, in the locality in which the public work is performed. Existing law provides that per diem wages includes both hourly wage rates and employer payments for employee benefits, as specified. Existing law requires the Director of Industrial Relations to determine per diem wages by referencing collective bargaining agreements, wage rates for federal public works, and, in certain instances, data from the labor organizations and employers associations, as specified. If the director determines that the general prevailing rate of per diem wages is the rate established by a collective bargaining agreement, and that collective bargaining agreement contains definite and predetermined changes during its term that will affect the rate adopted by the director, existing law requires the director to incorporate those changes into his or her prevailing wage determination.
This bill would authorize contractors and subcontractors, whenever the director's prevailing wage determination contains a predetermined change but does not specify how the change will be allocated between hourly wages and employer payments for benefits, to allocate payments equal to that change to either hourly wages or benefits for a specified time period, as provided. This bill would also provide that, if the allocation of a predetermined change is subsequently altered by the parties pursuant to the collective bargaining agreement that was the basis of the prevailing wage determination, a contractor or subcontractor may allocate payments of not less than the amount of the definite and predetermined change in accordance with either the originally published allocation or the allocation as altered in the collective bargaining agreement.
That's your California wage and hour law legislative year-end in review.