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California Employment Law Blog

California law sets standards for meal breaks

Servers work very hard for their wages. Most of what they go home with is from tips. There isn't any reason why their employers should try to take these from them or try to find ways to take money out of their paychecks. Unfortunately, there are many ways that servers might be cheated out of the money they've worked hard to earn.

One thing that you must remember when you are in the service industry is that there are many ways employers might try to cheat you out of your earnings. One of these is by trying to avoid giving you the breaks you are due. They might cite the busyness of the restaurant, such as claiming a constant rush, but this isn't a reason not to give out breaks.

The dangers of sexual harassment in the hospitality industry

Anyone who is in a profession that requires them to work with the public is at risk of being sexually harassed. This is a sad fact, but some individuals just don't know how to behave.

With this fact in mind, companies have to do their part to ensure that workers don't have to deal with this type of behavior and that incidents that do occur are quickly addressed.

You have a right to take time off to care for a gravely ill child

Having a sick child places a lot of stress on a parent. When the child has a serious or even life-threatening illness, the parents will likely want to remain with the child while they undergo whatever treatments are necessary. The problem with this is that most parents have to work to pay bills. There is a possible solution; however, it isn't going to earn you any money while you spend time caring for your child.

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is here to protect eligible employees from having to worry about job loss in situations like this. It gives them up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave. In order to get the protections of the FMLA, you have to meet certain criteria. One of these is that you have to have been at your job for 12 months and have put in a certain number of hours.

How should your employer deal with your disability?

Finding a job is not easy for many people, and if you have a disability, you may struggle even more than most. You may have the appropriate education, adequate experience and the necessary skills to succeed at the job you want. Nevertheless, getting potential employers to look past your disability may be a challenge.

Whether you have recently suffered an accident or illness that has left you with a disability, or you have lived with your condition most of your life, you have the right to fair consideration for any job for which you are qualified. Once an employer hires you, the law requires him or her to make any reasonable accommodations you request.

Severance agreement terms vary greatly

The conditions of a severance agreement are often up for negotiation. When you are working to determine whether you should accept one or not, you should carefully consider each term that is being presented to you. These can vary greatly, so don't base your decision off what someone else got in theirs.

One of the most common terms of a package is severance pay. Your length of employment and the position you hold will likely have a part in what you are offered. It is typical for executives to receive six to 12 months, but the chief executive officer (CEO) of a company might receive more.

At-will laws don't allow discriminatory terminations

Many people think that because California is an at-will employment state that they don't have any recourse if they are terminated. While this is true in many cases, there are exceptions to an employer's right to terminate employees.

There are specific reasons why an employee can't be let go. These are all based on harassment or discrimination for protected statuses. These include things like race or gender. They also can't let an employee go if the worker blows the whistle on illegal activities within the company.

3 bills address sexual harassment in California workplaces

The laws in California enable people to hide sexual harassment that occurs in the workplace. This is, in part, due to nondisclosure agreements that often come with settlements. A set of bills that go into effect on January 1, 2019, will make it a bit harder for people to hide these incidents.

The first of these is Assembly Bill No. 2338, which has to do with the entertainment industry. It requires the state's labor commissioner to provide sexual harassment training for workers age 14 to 17 in the entertainment industry. The training must also extend to the teens' parents or legal guardians. Additionally, talent agencies must make materials related to preventing sexual harassment available. The information must also let people know about reporting resources and retaliation. All of this can be provided online.

Wage and hour laws are here to protect employees

You need to get the money that is due you for the time you put in at work. While many employers take pride in paying their employees fairly, others look for any option they have to add even a few cents to their own pockets. When you think that you are being shorted on your pay, you should take the time to explore how wage and hour laws might impact your case.

There are laws in place that protect workers and their rights to get paid what they should. These occur on the federal, state and sometimes local levels. You might have to review all three levels of laws to determine how your case might fare based on them. This is a big undertaking, but we are here to help you learn about what options you have for handling these disputes about your earned pay.

Severance packages are voluntary agreements

Some people who start working for a company opt to do so only when they have a severance agreement in place. This provides them with specific benefits in the event of a termination or other negative employment action. It is imperative to understand what these can do and what you need to do to protect yourself using one.

First, remember that employers don't have to provide a severance agreement. This is completely optional and can be fully customized to fit the situation when one is used. There are many different conditions that might be included in these.

How can you know if you are receiving fair wages for overtime?

When a California worker has concerns about his or her rights regarding fair wages, he or she has the right to seek a beneficial outcome, as well as legal support to address the concern. If you suspect your employer is not paying you fairly, you would be wise to take quick action to protect your interests and seek the pay to which you are entitled. This is often a common concern for workers paid by the hour. 

Before you move forward with legal action, a smart first step is to determine whether your employer falls under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The FLSA is a federal statue that protects your right to fair pay, particularly as it pertains to overtime pay. If you have concerns about your pay, it could be prudent to first reach out for guidance regarding your rights and your legal options.

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