Every mechanic in California will tell you that their work is only as good as the tools used to perform it. A mechanic’s tools are so essential to their work that the State of California wage laws have special rules governing pay when the tools are not provided by the employer.
California’s Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC) Order No. 4-2001 (9) (b) states that when tools or equipment are required by the employer or are necessary to the performance of a job, such tools and equipment shall be provided and maintained by the employer unless the employer pays twice the state’s minimum wage.
Thus, according to California’s wage laws for mechanics, if your employer expects you to bring and use your own tools to complete regular work duties around the shop, you are entitled to at least double minimum wage. If your employer provides you with all of the tools necessary to perform your job and does not require you to bring your own tools, he or she is required to pay only the state’s minimum wage.
Why does the double minimum wage rule exist? It exists to prevent unscrupulous employers from passing operating costs to low wage earning employees
Employer Workarounds to California Wage Laws Regarding Tools
Unfortunately, some mechanic shops want to have their cake and eat it, too. That is, they don’t want to pay their mechanics double minimum wage, but they also don’t want to have to incur the expense of providing them tools. So, they try to find loopholes in the rule.
Indeed, some employers try to get around California’s double-minimum-wage law by providing one set of tools for a shop that has a dozen mechanics. However, fortunately for mechanics, providing just one set of tools in a shop with multiple mechanics does not relieve the employer from paying twice the minimum wage.
The unfortunate reality, though, is that many employers out there engage in this type of sham in an attempt to shirk their obligations to employees to pay twice the minimum wage.
Additional Considerations Regarding California Wage Laws, Mechanics, and Tool Usage
So, what happens if your employer supplies the equipment and tools you need to perform your job but you choose to bring your own tools? In this situation, your employer is not legally required to pay you twice California’s minimum wage. The reason for this is that the employer didn’t make furnishing your own tools a requirement to work for him or her.
In fact, in some cases, your employer may actually require you to sign a document acknowledging that you understand that the employer will provide and maintain all equipment and tools necessary for the job. The employer may also list the equipment and tools that he or she is providing for you to carry out your duties as a mechanic
Protect Your Employee Rights with the Help of Pimentel Law
If you believe that you are not being properly compensated for your work according to the State of California wage laws as they relate to your work as a mechanic, it is time to contact a Pasadena employment law attorney at Pimentel Law. Our Pasadena employment law firm can analyze your situation, determine if a violation has occurred, and explain your legal options.
We believe that every individual deserves quality representation and access to justice. We will therefore work hard to deliver to you personalized and dedicated legal representation from start to finish.
You can start right now with an online case evaluation form.