California Employment Law: An Overview
California employment regulations are considered highly protective of employees, with provisions such as strict work hour limits and other rules that are designed to favor workers.
While federal laws lay out the minimum requirements for employers to follow, California employment law provides several additional benefits and rights to the workers.
Some of the key benefits and rights of California employees are related to wages, time off from work, rest breaks, harassment and discrimination, privacy, and other aspects that influence employer-worker relations. California Workers’ Compensation law provides employees with financial protection against workplace injuries and illnesses.
Important California Employment Regulations
California employment law prohibits employers from taking discriminatory or retaliatory action against a worker. Employers are also required to provide a safe workplace environment for workers, which includes developing an Injury and Illness Prevention Program.
Employers are obligated to provide equal pay, protection to whistleblowers, pregnancy accommodations, and allow wage discussions. Workers have a right to access their individual personnel files.
The state law also imposes requirements on employers related to minimum wage, overtime, child labor, breastfeeding breaks, meals, and rest breaks.
Worker pay and benefits, including insurance for temporary disability and continuation of health care, are protected under California law.
Workers are entitled to time off or certain leaves, including paid sick leave, paid family leave, medical leave, emergency responder leave, and domestic violence leave.
Any worker who believes his or her rights may have been violated by the employer should contact an experienced employment law lawyer in California for legal advice.
Other Highlights of the State Employment Law
- California law restricts inquiries on a prospective employee’s salary history and limits the employer’s ability to ask for information about their salary and use it to determine pay.
- At the end of employment, the employer in California must comply with the applicable final pay and notification related to mass layoffs.
- Employees in California have a right to privacy at the workplace.
- California employment law provides workers the right to inspect their payroll records.
- Job applicants with a criminal record are protected by California’s ban-the-box law.
If your employer is denying you of your workers’ rights in any way, make sure you have a competent employment lawyer in California on your side to claim compensation.
Wage and Hour Laws in California
Worker lawsuits in California against employers often involve violations of wage and hour laws, especially with regard to overtime, mealtime, and breaks. It is important to note that non-exempt employees in the state may not waive their overtime rights.
Under California law, employers are required to pay 1.5 times the regular wage rate for all overtime hours (beyond 8 hours) in a single day. For all overtime hours worked beyond 12 hours in a single day, employers are required to pay double the regular wage rate.
Regulations related to mealtimes allow California workers to be free to leave the workplace and be relieved of all work duties for the full 30-minute period mandated by law.
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