FAQ’s About Piece-Rate Compensation Law in California

In order to underpay their workers, some employers in certain industries in California pay their workers piece-rate compensation instead of an hourly basis. Moreover, until the recent changes in Californian law, the employees were not aware of the fact that they are paid their due wages. Brief information about piece-rate compensation law of California is provided here under to know whether your employer owes you some wages.

Who is a piece-rate employee?

An employee who is paid on the basis of his/her measurable completed work instead of the time spent at the workplace is a piece-rate employee. It can be tricky to determine a piece-rate employee as piece-rate compensation is applicable in many situations like:

Nurses paid on the number of performed procedures, auto mechanic on a rate based on the Chilton manual, technicians paid on the number of installed units, carpenters paid by footage of framing job or yards of carpet laid, and factory workers paid on the number of completed items are all good examples.

What is AB 1513?

On January 1st, 2016 a new section, AB 1513, has been effectively included in the piece-rate compensation law of California Labor Code. According to this section, it is necessary to submit wage and compensation statement by the piece-rate employees for their defense if their employer fails to pay compensation for nonproductive time or for the recovery or rest time which they deserve as per Californian law. The rate of compensation should be higher than the average hourly rate or minimum applicable wage rate.

Employees exempted from AB 1513

Under AB 1513, some employees are exempted to get additional compensation for non-productive time. These employees may include the workers working on a commission basis and paid on the basis of certain percentage of the sale.

Types of piece-rate compensations that come under AB 1513

Every claim under piece-rate compensation law is unique. You can file a claim against your employer to determine whether you are eligible for it or not. There are certain other eligibility conditions for the employees to file a claim under this law like:

  • If your employers has classified you as commission based employee.
  • If you are not compensated for valid non-productive time.
  • If your employer neither allows you to take rest time even after working for more than 3.5 hours in a day nor pays for non-productive time
  • If your employer does not compensate you for nonproductive time, excluding recovery and rest periods.
  • If your employer retaliates against you for filing a claim for unpaid wages for nonproductive time

    So, according to AB 1513, the employees have legal right to contact an employment attorney if they are paid on piece-rate and not for non-productive time.