In California, labor laws protect the workers no matter where you were born or what is your legal status. Once you get hired, you have your employment rights. It is against the law for your employer to threaten you because of your legal status if you call a state agency to inform about your situation.
When you come across such a situation that falls against your employment rights, you might ask where to get help or report a problem. Several state and federal agencies in California work to make sure that the employers are following labor law. You can consult and take help from employment lawyers in Los Angeles who are experienced in labor laws cases.
The most important rights that the employees have under Employment Law are as follows:
1) Overtime Pay
As per California overtime laws, non-exempt employees are to earn one-and-a-half times their regular rate of pay when they work:
· More than 8 hours in a workday,
· More than 40 hours in a workweek, or
· More than 6 consecutive days in a workweek.
As per the law, the employers are required to pay to double-time for non-exempt employees working more than:
· 12 hours in a workday, or
· 8 hours on the seventh consecutive day in a workweek.
2) Rest and Meal Breaks
Under the Wage And Hour Law, all non-exempt employees get entitled to receive a thirty minutes lunch or meal break if they work for more than 5 hours a day. Employees who work more than 10 hours a day get entitled to a second thirty minutes meal break. Under the law, all non-exempt employees are entitled to get 10 minutes rest period for every four hours that they work in a day. These rest breaks are to be taken in the middle of each 4 hours.
Under the California Fair Employment And Housing Act (FEHA), employers are restricted by law to discriminate against a protected class of employees or job applicants. Discrimination based upon race, sex, religious beliefs, color, national origin, physical and mental disability, medical condition, ancestry, marital status, gender, gender identity, pregnancy, sexual orientation, or military and veteran status is against the law. Victims who have fallen prey to workplace discrimination can file a lawsuit against the employer for the caused damages.
4) Sexual Harassment
The law prohibits two forms of sexual harassment:
· “Quid pro quo” harassment – the phrase means ‘this for that’. In this, the employer asks for sexual favors in exchange for providing employment benefits, promotion, pay raise, etc.
· “Hostile work environment” harassment refers to unwelcome sexual advances, comments, or conduct that are consistent and pervasive to the extent that it hampers the job performance and the victim is unable to work in that environment effectively. The harasser could be anyone, supervisors or bosses, company owners, coworkers, clients, customers, independent contractors, or vendors.
5) Workplace Retaliation
Under the law, the employers cannot fire or terminate an employee who:
· Reports a violation of law in the company
· Who participates in the investigation process of workplace harassment or discrimination, or opposes anything that violates the law
· Acts as a whistleblower or was a whistleblower in the previous employment
· Requests reasonable accommodation for a disability, religious beliefs, or during pregnancy
California’s Whistleblower laws and FEHA laws provide legal help for employees whose employers retaliate against them but do not fire them instead create a forceful work environment.
6) Family, Medical, and Sick Leaves
Family And Medical Leave Laws (FMLA) allow employees of companies with 5 or more employees to take 12 weeks of unpaid leaves in 12-months to care for a family member with a serious health condition, bond with a new baby, or when a military spouse or a parent deploys.
Once the leaves get over, employees get entitled to return to the same job or a job at an equal position. Paid sick leaves are available to full-time workers, part-time workers, and temporary employees. Under the law, full-time employees are entitled to get 24 hours or 3 days of paid sick leave per 12-month period.
Companies, big or small, take advantage of their employees regularly. This is a well-known fact to the workers who have worked and have been wrongfully terminated or have faced discrimination or sexual harassment. There are employment laws to protect the workers and employment lawyers or labor attorneys to take your case further.
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