New Law Targets Supervisors for Wage Liability
New Law Targets Supervisors for Wage Liability

Senate Bill 588, referred to as the wage theft bill, significantly expands individual liability for wage and hour violations by authorizing the Labor Commissioner to hold a hearing to recover civil penalties for wage and hour violations against not only the employer, but also a person acting on behalf of an employer, which includes an owner, director, officer, or managing agent of the employer. These persons may now be held liable for violating or causing a violation of any provision regulating minimum wages or hours and days of work in any Wage Order or the Labor Code. SB 588 also makes it easier for the Labor Commissioner to collect unpaid wages on behalf of workers, by granting power to issue levies and liens against the employer’s property and to issue stop orders requiring businesses to cease operating until payment obligations are satisfied.

The new law also includes some unusual provisions which require that any individual or business entity that contracts for services in the property services or long-term care industries to be jointly and severally liable for any unpaid wages where the individual or business entity has been provided notice, by any party, of any proceeding or investigation by the Labor Commissioner in which the employer is found liable for unpaid wages. The requirements do not impose liability on individual residences or home-based businesses. “Property services” is defined as janitorial, security guard, valet parking, landscaping or gardening services. SB 588 becomes effective on January 1, 2016.

This blog is presented under protest by the law firm of Ervin Cohen & Jessup LLP.  It is essentially the random thoughts and opinions of someone who lives in the trenches of the war that often is employment law–he/she may well be a little shell-shocked.  So if you are thinking “woohoo, I just landed some free legal advice that will fix all my problems!”, think again.  This is commentary, people, a sketchy overview of some current legal issue with a dose of humor, but commentary nonetheless; as if Dennis Miller were a lawyer…and still mildly amusing.  No legal advice here; you would have to pay real US currency for that (unless you are my mom, and even then there are limits).  But feel free to contact us with your questions and comments—who knows, we might even answer you.  And if you want to spread this stuff around, feel free to do so, but please keep it in its present form (‘cause you can’t mess with this kind of poetry).  Big news: Copyright 2015.  All rights reserved; yep, all of them.

If you have any questions about this article, contact the writer directly, assuming he or she was brave enough to attach their name to it.  If you have any questions regarding this blog or your life in general, contact Kelly O. Scott, Esq., commander in chief of this blog and Head Honcho (official legal title) of ECJ’s Employment Law Department, at (310) 281-6348 


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