Our Employment Law practice includes federal, state, and local laws that employers are required to follow in connection with their employees. Employers in California are not supposed to discriminate against employees or permit harassment. They should pay at least the minimum wage and give their employees adequate meal and rest breaks. When an employee works overtime, they must be paid commensurate to that overtime. Employers are also supposed to purchase workers’ compensation insurance to cover their employees in case of a work-related injury or illness.
Employment discrimination occurs whenever a job applicant or employee is treated adversely because of his or her membership in a protected class. Federal and state laws protect different classes, although there is some overlap in protected classes. Federal Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, and sex; it applies to employers with at least 15 employees. The Federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits disability discrimination when an employer has at least 15 employees. An employment attorney in Ventura County or Los Angeles can help an employee bring a claim under these federal laws.
The state law prohibiting discrimination is the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), which provides protection to a broad range of classes, including sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, marital status, color, race, religion, ancestry, national origin, medical condition, mental or physical disability, and genetic information. You should not be subjected to discrimination based on any of these protected characteristics. Discrimination can include failure to hire, failure to promote, wrongful termination, demotion, or harassment. For example, if your supervisor and coworkers repeatedly send you sexual materials and make lewd comments in your presence, you could bring a claim for sexual harassment under FEHA.
In addition, FEHA prohibits retaliation for exercising any of your rights under it. Our Los Angeles and Ventura County employment attorneys can review your case to determine whether you may have a claim against your employer for retaliation.
Employers are required to pay the minimum wage under federal, state, and local laws. The minimum wage has been increased yearly for employers with at least 26 employees since 2017, and it will be increased until January 1, 2022. The increase has been delayed by a year for employers with 25 or fewer employees. As of January 1, 2020, the minimum wage for employers with 25 or fewer employees is $12/hr., and the minimum wage for employers with 26 or more employees is $13/hr. Los Angeles and unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County have a different minimum wage that is currently higher; this minimum wage also has yearly increases over a period of five years. As of July 1, 2020, the minimum wage in those locations is $15/hr. for businesses with at least 26 employees and $14.25/hr. for businesses with 25 or fewer employees.
Generally, employers must pay overtime to a non-exempt employee when that employee works more than eight hours in a work day or more than 40 hours in a work week. Overtime is paid at 1½ times a worker’s regular rate of pay for all hours that are in excess of eight hours up to 12 hours in a work day, and for the first eight hours worked on the seventh consecutive day of work in a work week. Non-exempt employees should be paid double pay, or twice their regular rate of pay, for all hours worked in excess of 12 hours in a work day and all hours worked beyond eight on the seventh consecutive day of work in a work week. There are certain exemptions from overtime laws; for example, there are special rules for agricultural workers.
Employment laws can involve complex issues that affect the personal and professional lives of employees. If you need assistance in asserting your rights against a California employer, you should consult the Knoll Law Group. Call us at (800) 954-5459 or complete our online form to discuss your case with an employment lawyer serving Ventura County and Los Angeles, as well as throughout California.
- Wrongful Termination
- Discrimination & Harassment
- Employment Discrimination
- Sexual Harassment