Employer's Payments to a Union Vacation Trust Fund on an Employee's Behalf Not Reportable Wages

Steven Mora sued former employer Webcor Construction, L.P. for violating Labor Code §226(a) by failing to list the hours and hourly rate associated with a payment described as "Union Vacation" on Mora's wage statements. It was undisputed the amounts in question were payments to a union vacation trust fund authorized by the Labor Management Relations Act of 1947 (LMRA), also known as the Taft--Hartley Act.
The trial court sustained Webcor's demurrer without leave to amend.
The court of appeal affirmed, holding that the payments were not within the scope of §226(a). Section 226(a) requires employers to provide employees wage statements itemizing, among other things, all wages earned, including the hours worked and applicable rates of pay. The statute is highly detailed, containing nine separate categories that must be included on wage statements. None of these categories, however, references payments to an employee benefit trust fund. Further, these payments, unlike payments of accrued vacation pay, were not payments owed to Mora. Rather they were payments owed to the trust fund. Although Mora had some expectation of benefits from the trust fund, he did not allege an entitlement to receive the entirety of the payments made by Webcor on his behalf. The payments thus could not be deemed wages owed to Mora. Section 226(a) did not apply.

Mora v. Webcor Construction, LLP, First DCA, February 6, 2018.

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