California is renowned for its forward-thinking policies and strong worker protection laws. As a worker in the Golden State, you possess numerous rights under federal and state law. However, employers don't always uphold these rights, leaving employees vulnerable to mistreatment and exploitation.
Your Rights Under California Employment Law
Minimum Wage and Overtime Pay
California boasts one of the highest minimum wage rates in the country, currently set at $15.50 per hour for all employers. In addition to the minimum wage, California employees qualify for overtime pay when working beyond eight a certain number of hours daily or over 40 hours weekly. Overtime pay is calculated at one-and-a-half times the employee's regular hourly rate. Double-time pay is required for any hours worked over 12 in a day or beyond eight hours on the seventh consecutive day during the work in a workweek.
Meal and Rest Breaks
Under California law, workers qualify for a 30-minute unpaid meal break when working over five hours a day. If the workday is at most six hours, the employee may waive their right to a meal break with mutual consent from the employer. Employees are also entitled to a second meal break when working beyond ten hours daily.
Additionally, employees are entitled to a paid 10-minute rest break for every four hours worked. These rest breaks should be provided near the midpoint of the work duration.
Discrimination and Harassment Protection
California employees are protected from discrimination and harassment based on various protected characteristics, including,
- National origin;
- Gender identity;
- Sexual orientation;
- Disability; and more.
It is forbidden for employers to make job-related decisions influenced by these factors, and must provide a workplace free of harassment.
Family and Medical Leave
California law provides employees with various leave entitlements, including the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), which allows eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for specific family and medical reasons. This includes the arrival or adoption of a child, tending to an immediate family member with severe health issues, or recovering from a severe health condition.
In addition to CFRA leave, California employees may be entitled to other types of leave, such as pregnancy disability, paid family, and paid sick leave.
California employers are legally bound to offer a safe working environment for their employees. This includes identifying and addressing potential hazards, providing necessary safety equipment, and adhering to all applicable safety regulations and standards.
Employees also have the right to report safety concerns or violations without fear of retaliation from their employer.
How Law Office of Jeffrey D. Fulton Can Help
If you believe your rights as a California employee have been violated, the team at Law Office of Jeffrey D. Fulton is here to help. We understand that dealing with a violation of your employee rights can be stressful and overwhelming while treating every case with empathy and comprehension.
Our experienced attorneys will listen to your concerns, review your case, and help you determine the best course of action to protect your rights. We deeply understand federal and California employment laws and will aggressively advocate for your interests, whether through negotiation or litigation.
Examples of possible outcomes of an employment law case may include:
- Back pay for unpaid wages or overtime;
- Reinstatement to your job;
- Compensation for emotional distress; and,
- Punitive damages against the employer.
Don't hesitate to stand up for your rights as a California worker. If you suspect your employer has violated your rights, contact Law Office of Jeffrey D. Fulton online or at (916) 318-3388 for a consultation. Let us help you navigate the complex world of California employment law.