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California Wage Laws, Mechanics, and Tool Usage

California Wage Laws, Mechanics, and Tool Usage

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 California labor laws have explicate rules governing their 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 $10.00 minimum wage.

Thus, 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 $20.00 per hour. If your employer provides you with all the tools necessary to perform your job and does not require you to bring your own tools, they are only required to pay the state’s minimum wage.

Some mechanic shops want to have their cake and eat it too. That is, they don’t want to pay their mechanics $20.00 per hour, 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 the double minimum wage rule 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.

If you believe that you are not being properly compensated for your work, it is time to contact a Pasadena employment law attorney at Pimentel Law. My Pasadena employment law firm can analyze your situation, determine if a violation has occurred, and tell you about your legal options from there. You can start right now with an online case evaluation form.