Aug. 27 2008

Requiring Employees to Sign False Time Cards Is a Crime

Topics: New Laws & Legislation

Earlier this month, Governor Schwarzenneger signed into law AB 2075, which amends California Labor Code section 206.5 and makes it a misdemeanor for an employer to require an employee, as a condition of payment of wages, to sign a statement of hours worked that the employer knows is false.

Prior to amendment, Labor Code section 206.5 prohibited employers from requiring an employee to execute a release of wage claims, unless payment of the wages has been made.The amendment extends this protection by defining "execution of a release" to expressly include requiring an employee to execute a statement of hours worked during a pay period which the employer knows to be false.Proponents of the legislation argued that the new law was needed because some employers are attempting to guard against wage and hour litigation by requiring their employees to certify records of hours worked that are false and do not accurately reflect overtime and other hours worked.The new law goes into effect January 1, 2009.

California employers who require their employees to certify their timesheets each pay period in order to be paid should evaluate their practices.Employers who knowingly permit employees to record "default" hours as opposed to actual hours worked, and/or who know employees are recording inaccurate hours, may be subject to new risk and liability under California law.

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About the Editor

Robin Largent represents employers, including major food and retail companies, in all types of employment litigation: wrongful termination, retaliation, breach of contract, wage and hour (California Labor Code) and unfair competition. She also regularly counsels and advises California employers on issues of compliance with California and federal employment laws.
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