California Labor Law
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What Are California Labor Laws?
California has some of the most pro-worker employment laws in the United States. As a result, there are many rights that you have as an employee. Has your employer infringed on the rights provided by California labor laws and federal labor laws? You might be able to file a claim or get compensation.
Employers are not legally allowed to force you to waive your rights to the protection given by labor laws. Additionally, California labor laws say that an employer cannot force workers to follow along or accept the labor laws that are outlined in a different state.
What Are Some of the Most Important California Labor Laws?
California rarely leaves a stone unturned when it comes to protecting its workers. The state shows special regard for blue-collar and lower-income workers. It has gone up against tech giants and the federal government to extend protections even to contract workers. Here are some of the many areas of employment that California labor laws address:
California Minimum Wage Law: California is one of several states committed to inching up to the $15-per-hour mark in the next few years. The minimum wage for non-exempt employees is $13 per hour. However, note that some cities have even higher minimum wages, such as Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Malibu and Oakland.
California Overtime Law: Most states calculate overtime pay at the end of a workweek, but California starts its calculations at the end of the workday. Non-exempt employees must receive 1.5 times their usual salary after working more than 8 hours in a day or more than 40 hours per week. Non-exempt employees also become entitled to twice their regular pay after working more than 12 hours in a day.
California Meal and Rest Break Law: If you work more than 5 hours in a workday, you become entitled to an uninterrupted 30-minute break to spend as you please. Workers should also receive 10-minute breaks for every four hours of work they complete. If an employer fails to provide these breaks, employees may be entitled to 2 hours’ worth of pay for each day they did not receive adequate breaks.
California Independent Contractor Law: Employers have to take special care to ensure they classify the right people as independent contractors versus employees. This recently received an update via California Assembly Bill 5, which provided employee status to workers previously considered gig workers.
California WARN Act — Layoffs: Employers that relocate, close their stores or lay off more than 49 workers over a one-month period, must provide 60 days’ notice before doing so. If they fail to provide this notice, the workers become entitled to pay and benefits to cover that 60-day period.
California Vacation Pay Law: Some companies force employees to take their vacation time in the calendar year it’s given or they lose it, but this is illegal in California. Vacation days cannot legally expire in the Golden State. Employees can cash out on those vacations if they get fired or resign.
California Paystub Law: All employees are entitled to paystubs. If they do not receive them, the employee may become entitled to up to $4,000.
California Final Paycheck: Employers have 72 hours to provide your last paycheck if you quit and must provide your last paycheck on that same day if you get fired.
What Are Some Examples of Discrimination That California Labor Laws Protect Against?
The California Fair Employment and Housing Act prohibits employers staffed by five or more employees from discriminating. Here are some of the protected characteristics identified by the California Fair Employment and Housing Act:
- National origin or ancestry
- Medical condition, genetic condition or disabilities
- Marital status
- Sex, gender or gender identity
- Military or veteran status
What Is the Process for Addressing Violations of California Labor Laws?
Has your employer harassed you on any protected characteristic? You may be able to file a claim because this is illegal. However, many people worry about how the labor laws California process works. They might also worry about the cost or chance of the employer coming to court and telling lies. It’s true that employers do often enter courtrooms and twist the truth in an effort to protect themselves from liability.
An experienced attorney not only helps you understand what to expect but also how to protect yourself when this occurs. These are the basic steps you can expect to follow:
- Gather all evidence for the related complaint.
- Consult with an attorney to determine if the actions taken by the employer counts as a labor law violation.
- File a claim with the relevant authorities. This includes California’s Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or even the Internal Revenue Service.
- Follow the recommended process.
The exact process may be different based on the labor law violation and the agency responsible as some California labor laws are a reflection of federal provisions. Note that not all claims end in a courtroom. Sometimes, your attorney may work with the employer to reinstate you, offer a settlement, pay back wages or meet other demands.
Work With an Experienced California Labor Law Attorney
Understanding the rights given by California and the federal government can feel overwhelming, but it does help put you in a better position to stand your ground. This is where working with an experienced California labor law attorney can help. We have hundreds of dedicated lawyers that are standing by to help you.
The best part is that this is at no cost to you. We don’t charge a single dime for connecting you with the help you need. You can speak with an attorney and get to know your options before making a decision.
Are you ready to get the matching process started? Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!