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California Labor Law vs. DLSE Manual

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  • California Labor Law vs. DLSE Manual

    Im a little confused and wondering if someone can explain this to me. I was reading a specific part of the Department of Labor and Standards Manual ( and in section 3.2.2 states:

    "Layoff: If an employee is laid off without a specific return date within the normal pay
    period, the wages earned up to and including the lay off date are due and payable in accordance with Section 2 01. (Campos v. EDD (1982) 132 Cal.A pp.3d 961; 183 Cal.Rptr.637; see also O.L . 1993.05.04 and O.L . 1996.05.30) If there is a return date within the pay period and the employee is scheduled to return to work, the wages m ay be paid atthe next regular pay day."

    I don't see that writen anywhere in the Labor Law in California that states if an employee is laid off without a specific return date within the normal pay period, the wages earned up to and including the lay off date.

    This is only per the DLSE, and not in Labor Law. Wouldnt the labor law prevail in court vs what the DLSE guidelines are for layoff?


  • #2
    Without commenting on the substance of what the DLSE manual says, I can say that the manual does not have the force of law. However, courts will generally give great weight to administrative regulations and interpretations, even if those regulations are not binding. The enforcement manual is not a regulation, as it did not go through the required APA procedures to become adopted officially as a regulation. It is simply the DLSE'S interpretation of the law based on the statutes, court decisions and what the DLSE believes the law should be.

    In this particular case, I can't say whether a court would follow the manual or not (this is not my area of expertise). If the manual is clearly in contradiction to what the Labor Code says, a court would probably follow the code. However, if the code is silent on the issue and the manual's guidance does not produce an absurd result, a court would likely give a lot of weight to the manual.


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