Following California Employment Law is a Requirement, Not A Guideline.
Following California Employment Law is a Requirement, Not A Guideline.
Are your lunches cut short? Does your boss make you feel guilty for taking breaks? California Labor Laws are not a guideline and employers are required to adhere to them. If you feel your employer is taking time from you that you are entitled to for breaks and lunch, they may be breaking California Labor Laws and you could have a case against them.
Stop Letting Them Control You.
Breaking California Labor Laws is a serious violation that can lead to class action lawsuits. If you believe you are not given the time you are entitled under California law, it’s time that you contact an employment attorney. At Johnson Attorneys Group, we will evaluate all the details of your situation to determine what type of Labor Law case you have and guide you in your next steps.
There are dozens of federal and state laws that protect employees from being cheated out of wages, suffering discrimination or harassment or being overworked. Most people can’t afford to lose their job, so these protections were put in place to ensure employees certain rights.
Below is a basic overview of the key laws that affect most California workers. Please understand that every situation is different and that a judge may interpret laws such as these and make a determination on a case by case basis. Our law offices handle all types of employment law cases and we can help you best understand what applies to your case and what steps should be taken.
Affordable Care Act (ACA)
Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), companies with more than 50 full-time equivalent employees must provide health insurance to their employees or pay a penalty for not offering affordable coverage. A full-time employee is one that works either 30 hours per week or more or 130 hours per month. The employer who has a number of part-time employees but is under the 50 full-time requirements, may still be subject to the ACA. The part-time workers’ hours would be added up to determine the equivalent number of full-time employees they have on staff.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to employers with at least 15 employees. The ADA, which became law in 1990, prohibits employers from discriminating against employees with disabilities, but it does not force an undue burden on a company. The ADA will take into account the size of the company, financial resources and whether or not the disabled person’s contributions lower production or quality of the work.
If an employee qualifies as disabled under guidelines outlined by the ADA, they are entitled to reasonable accommodation to facilitate their employment.
Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) applies to employees 40 years or older and employers with 20 or more employees. It protects workers from discrimination in the workplace because of their age. To claim a younger person displaced them or was promoted over them, the employee must show the person was at least 3 years younger or “substantially younger.” Older workers are also protected by the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA). Companies that lay off older workers must have employees sign a waiver to ADEA claims. These older workers are protected under the OWBPA to ensure they are given proper notice and a chance to consult an attorney.
Child Labor Laws
The Fair Labor Standards Act contains laws governing child employment. The federal government identifies a child as an individual under the age of 18. 29 US Code 203(l) Under the FLSA, employers are prohibited from engaging in any oppressive child labor practices. 29 US Code 212(c)
Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
Back in 1938, the Fair Labor and Standards Act was established in the United States. It was in the years after the Great Depression that employers were taking advantage of a tight job market. Many workers put up with deplorable conditions and worked endless hours.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is no doubt a complex law. It applies to most companies and establishes the 40-hour work week, minimum wage, overtime pay, record keeping, equal pay for women, and child labor standards affecting full-time and part-time workers in the private sector and in federal, state, and local governments.
Private employers are regulated by The Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). The FLSA also governs wages for government employees at the state and federal levels.
Special rules apply to state and local government employment involving fire protection and law enforcement activities, volunteer services, and compensatory time off instead of cash overtime pay.
Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
Employers sometimes use a third party to conduct background checks on their job applicants or employees. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) applies if the employer requests credit reports, criminal history reports, driving records and other background check reports such as a drug test.
The FCRA does not apply when an employer does its own investigation, only when a third party is used. Basically, the FCRA requires employers to disclose that consumer reports may be used for employment decisions and to secure consent from employees or applicants to obtain these reports. Sexual harassment investigations conducted by third parties are excluded from the notice requirements, but the employer must notify the employee after their investigation has concluded.
Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
Employees are entitled to maintain their group health insurance coverage if they take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical purposes under the FMLA. The same terms and conditions of the insurance coverage apply to the employee as if they had not taken leave at all. Eligible employees are entitled to the following:
Medical leave for 12-work weeks in a 12-month period for:
- Birth of a child, care for the newborn child up to one year old;
- Child adoption or foster care. Care for the newly placed child for one year after placement;
- Caring for the employee’s spouse, child, or parent with serious health problem;
- A serious health condition affecting the employee that affects their job;
- Covered active duty military events. Employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent is an active military member or military caregiver leave.
- Employees whose spouse, son, daughter, parent or next of kin has a serious illness or injury may have 26 work weeks of leave during a single 12-month period so they may care for them.
National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)
The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) was enacted by Congress in 1935. The law was established to protect the rights of employees and employers who wish to engage in collective bargaining. It also seeks to curtail certain private sector labor and management practices that could harm the general welfare of workers, businesses and the U.S. economy.
Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA)
Employers must provide a safe environment for their workers under the Occupational and Safety Health Act. Congress enacted OSHA to ensure the safety of workers on the job from recognized hazards. Among the threats to worker safety and health are exposure to toxic chemicals, excessive noise, mechanical dangers, heat or cold stress, or unsanitary conditions. The research division for OSHA is the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and OSHA is a division of the U.S. Department of Labor.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
It is illegal to discriminate against an employee or job applicant. The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces the federal Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 laws that protect employees from discrimination due to their race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. Additionally, employers cannot discriminate against a person if that person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit. If an employee reports their employer, they are protected under whistleblower laws. Employers may not retaliate against their employees as they are protected by these federal retaliation laws.
These laws apply to employers with at least 15 employees. Only age discrimination applies to companies with at least 20 employees. Additionally, labor unions and employment agencies are also covered.
The federal laws enforced by the EEOC apply to all types of work situations. This comprises the hiring and firing of employees, their promotion, harassment, training, wages, and benefits.
Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act)
Under the WARN Act, employers closing a plant intending to lay off more than 50 employees during any 30-day period must provide a 60-day written notice to them. This written notice is not only given to employees, but also to the state dislocated worker unit and the chief elected official of the unit of local government in which the employment site is located. It must also be given to any collective bargaining unit.
The same warning is required for employers who plan to make a mass lay off that is not due to a plant closing. If an employer lays off 500 or more employees during any 30-day period they are required to give the written notice. The same goes for employers who plan to lay off 50-499 employees if they make up at least 33 percent of their active workforce.
The WARN Act does not apply to employees being laid off who have worked less than six months in the past 12 months, nor employees who work less than 20 hours a week.
A Free Consultation Will Help You Determine If You Qualify
Let the experienced attorneys at Johnson Attorneys Group represent you and give you the best fighting chance possible in your case. To know if your situation qualifies, give our firm a call to schedule a FREE consultation. We will take the time to listen to your situation, understand your frustrations and tell you right then and there what your next steps will be.
Answers to Common Employment Law California Questions
My Employer Isn’t Giving Me Time with My Newborn. Can I Fight This?
Under the Family and Medical Leave Act, federal law dictates specific guidelines to allow for growing families to have time with their children and time to recover after a pregnancy. If you feel your employer is violating the FMLA, you owe it to yourself and your family to get professional legal help. We are the leading attorneys in employer law and we will fight to get you the time you need with your family.
I Feel I’m Being Discriminated Against. How Do I Know?
The law outlines very specific characteristics that are protected from harassment. If you believe you are being harassed on the basis of race, gender, age, sexual orientation or religion, it’s time to pick up the phone and call our office for a consultation. Discrimination is a serious crime and you do not have to take it any longer. Call us today for a FREE consult to understand your rights under the law.
I Am Disabled and My Employer Doesn’t Help Me. What Can I Do?
Every employer in California is REQUIRED to make accommodations for various disabilities in California. The American Disabilities Act outlines specific guidelines for this and if your employer is not providing you the tools you need to do your job, they are breaking the law. Let our team at Johnson Attorneys Group stand by your side and fight back against unlawful behavior in the workplace.