1) Increase in the State Minimum Wage
Governor Brown signed AB 10. This bill raises the minimum wage in two $1.00 increments, from the current $8 per hour rate to $9 per hour effective July 1, 2014. Then to $10 per hour effective January 1, 2016.
2) Paid Family Leave Coverage Expanded
SB 770 was also signed into law. This bill expands the familial relationships covered by California’s paid family leave program. Currently, employees who are permitted to take unpaid time off to care for a seriously ill child, spouse, parent, domestic partner, or to bond with a minor child within one year of the birth, adoption or foster care placement of the child, can receive up to 6 weeks of wage replacement benefits under California’s family temporary disability (paid family leave) program. Beginning July 1, 2014, a seriously ill grandparent, grandchild, sibling and parent-in-law will also be included.
Piece-rate employees must be paid separately for work that does not fall within the scope of the work that is the subject of the piece rate.
So, if you’re a brake mechanic and are paid by the brake job (or other repair), but also clean the shop, make appointments, open/close the shop or any other duties that are not related to the brake jobs themselves, you must be compensated for the extra work. The hours spent working on non-piece rate tasks must be paid at least at minimum wage.
For example, in one case, an auto dealership compensated its auto mechanics based on a “piece rate” system. For repairs, the company would pay the employees based on a standard period of time allowed for a repair (flag hours). The pay rate was significantly higher than minimum wage. So, if the job took longer than standard hours, there was enough wages to ensure the mechanic earned more than minimum wage.
But the mechanics spent significant time at work NOT performing repairs, such as in training, cleaning, etc. The dealership would calculate the total hours worked vs. the compensation it would pay for flag hours. If the pay rate fell below minimum wage, the dealership would make up the difference. The dealership did not pay a separate hourly rate for non-repair time that would not have been covered under the piece rate.