Employee Misclassification: A Scheme Against Poor Hard-working Employees

Employee Misclassification: A Scheme Against Poor Hard-working EmployeesFor business owners, making profit is one of, if not the most important thing that there is. Given a chance, business owners would want to cut on their spending so that they can extend their profits and they can grow their business faster. While not all businessmen are created equal, some can be a little bit too after the profits that they tend to forget to put the rights of their employees first before failing to provide the things that their employees should be enjoying in the first place.

Knowing Your Classification

Basically, there are two classifications of employees in the state of California. This is in compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Members of the workforce are classified depending on whether they are exempted or not for the state’s overtime pay laws. What are the criteria for determining if you are an exempt or non-exempt employee?

For people working in the administrative, executive departments, or those who work in the field, as well as certain computer employees are classified as exempt if:

  • You are paid on a salary compared to others who are paid per hour.
  • Weekly, you earn at least $455.
  • If you are being paid your full salary regardless of how much time you have actually rendered work.

On the other hand, you are a non-exempt employee if you earn less than $455 a week, or $26,660 annually. And that gives you the guarantee that you will receive overtime pay for the extra work that you put in for your employer.

Intentional Misclassification

Additionally, there are certain tests that needs to be met in terms of one’s job’s duties and responsibilities to be able to qualify for exemption from receiving overtime pay. This would generally be depending on your employer’s terms. Now this is where problems with the classification of employers come from. Some employers resort to employee misclassification and make you an exempt employee even if you fail to meet the requirements to be one. This is a convenient excuse for some scheming employers so they won’t be obliged to give overtime pay for the extra work you are putting in. This unfair practice has been going on for quite a while now and unfortunately, a lot of these scheming employers are getting away with these, until you stand up and fight for your rights.

What Can You Do To Stop Employee Misclassification?

As an employee, you should know what your rights are and that includes the wages and benefits that you should receive from your employers. You should be able to receive the wages for the work that you have put in for the company. Knowing your rights is just half the battle though. You need to ask for the help of an employment law attorney in California to help you file a complaint against your abusive employer. More than being able to get the wages you deserve, you can also protect others from these schemes of your employers.


A Look at Workplace Discrimination Affecting Women

A Look at Workplace Discrimination Affecting WomenOver the years, from the district courts to the U.S. Supreme Court, numerous decisions have been made that protect women against various employment practices that are considered discriminatory. In effect, females are considered protected classes, and thus are afforded protection against discrimination in all aspects of employment, from hiring to termination. But despite the fight that women in the workplace have to do to recognize their rights over the last four to five decades, they continue to suffer discrimination.

When talking about workplace discrimination affecting women, it is not just about the harassment and assault that some female employees or applicants endure. It is also about the bias that women workers face, especially on account of industries that are predominantly male, as well as certain aspects of employment such as pay. Indeed, in today’s world, the female worker continues to seek parity within the workplace.

Why women get discriminated against in the workplace

For employers who engage in unfair employment practices, particularly in the hiring process, they see women as only capable of doing the work of a secretary, an administrative assistant, or any job position which is traditionally handled by a woman. In other words, they lean on what history dictates women should be doing in a typical office setting. These employers believe that they don’t have the necessary qualifications to perform jobs that are not traditionally handled by women, as well as give them the chance to earn higher pay than the pay they receive as secretaries.

Also there are employers who, despite hiring or promoting women to managers, supervisors, or any other related positions, prevent them from getting up higher into the top of the ladder. They believe that women aren’t suited for the role of becoming a chief executive officer (CEO) or any other related positions with increased responsibility and potential to influence other people within the organization. These employers believe that men are more suitable for such.

Equal pay?

Even with the existence of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which aims to abolish disparity on wages on account of sex, a lot of women continue to experience unfair treatment in the workplace on the aspect of pay. While there are women who perform jobs in almost all categories, they receive less than what their male counterparts earn with the same jobs in these categories. Some employers have this line of thinking wherein women, despite performing substantially the same roles and responsibilities as men do in certain jobs, are considered the “weaker sex,” thus the reason why women are paid less than their men.

What discriminated women employees need to do

The issue of gender in the workplace is still an ongoing issue that needs to be taken seriously. Women in the workforce have their rights, too, and given that they are protected against discrimination, they can always assert their rights if they think they have been subjected to actions that go against what the laws enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) provide. As such, aggrieved female employees must be able to consider airing their grievances with their respective employers, and if the latter did nothing to address the situations, then female workers must consider seeking an expert Los Angeles employment lawyer who can help them establish claims of discrimination.

If you are seeking for a workplace discrimination attorney in Los Angeles, you can simply visit this website: http://www.mesrianilaw.com/specialties/employment-law.html

9/11 Again? Effects of the ISIS on American Muslims

911 Again Effects of the ISIS on American Muslims 1

Recently, news has been spreading about the conflict in Iraq that involves the Islamic State (IS). Also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) or the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), this jihadist group is considered as a terrorist organization by the UN and the allied forces. This self-proclaimed caliphate led by a caliph or “successor to Muhammad” that claims religious authority over all of the Muslims all over the world.


A Terrorist Organization

According to experts, Jihad means “to struggle in the way of Allah”. Sadly, jihads are usually associated with bombings, executions, and other violent acts. That is why the ISIS, though it seems that the group has noble intentions, is branded as a terrorist organization. The number of people they have hurt and killed over the years makes this ideology look really bad, leading to the very bad reputation of the group and Muslims in general.


That is why countries like Australia, Canada, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom, the United States, and even the United Nations Security Council have branded the ISIS as a terrorist organization. This has earned them as a group that is just out to kill all non-Muslims.


9/11 Again?

Fact is, the majority of Muslims are peaceful people. Bad thing is, because of some Muslim extremists, all of the Muslims are being wrongfully accused, judged, and are deprived of their rights. After the September 11 attacks in 2001, Muslim, especially those in the United States have been victims of abuse and harassment, not just from Americans but from all nationalities all over the world. Since then, Muslim communities all over the globe have worked hard to try and remove the notion that Muslims are violent and peaceful citizens. However, these actions by members of the ISIS have thrown all of their efforts away in defending Islam against those who judge and discriminate against them. During such time, Muslims oftentimes became victims of workplace discrimination. Some others are bullied are ridiculed because of their religion. For years, the Muslim communities in the US have worked hard to take this stigma away. They are not willing to just throw away all of their efforts, just because of the people that are members of the ISIS.

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A New Change is Dawning in California: What to Expect on July 1, 2014

A New Change is Dawning in California What to Expect on July 1, 2014

The date is July 1, 2014. For some, it is just another day. Falling on a Tuesday, a lot of people might be instead looking forward for the Fourth of July celebrations that will be happening over the weekend. But for a lot of Californians, July 1, 2014 is a big deal, a day that is something to look forward to especially for those who earn wages and salaries. On that day, California will experience a very significant change in terms of its minimum wage, a first since January 1, 2008.

Starting July 1, 2014, California’s minimum wage will be increased by a dollar, thanks to Governor Edmund “Jerry” Brown’s approval of Assembly Bill 10, authored by Assemblyman Luis Alejo (D-Salinas). Signed into law September 25, 2013, the bill amended the state’s Labor Code to increase the minimum wage in two phases.

What to Expect on July 1, 2014The first phase is expected to take effect next week, in which the state’s minimum wage rate will be increased from the current $8.00 to $9.00 per hour. The second phase of the wage increase indicated on the bill would further add another dollar to the wage rate, making it $10.00 per hour. This, however, would take effect on the first day of 2016.

The last time the state government increased California’s minimum wage rate happened on January 1, 2008, in which the rate rose from $7.50 to $8.00.

Non-exempt employees in California aren’t only the ones who will be affected by the change that will occur next week. Under the wage orders from the Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC) of the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR), exempt employees—those whose work are classified as executive, professional, or administrative—must be paid a salary that is less than twice the prevailing minimum wage. Starting Tuesday next week, exempt workers in California are to be paid based on an annual salary of not less than $37,440.

The new minimum wage rate in California is expected to create a great, if not lasting, impact for both employees and businesses. Whether it is a positive or negative impact remains to be seen. Meanwhile, a Los Angeles labor lawyer explains that in line with the expected changes, it is imperative for employers to consider displaying posters about the $9.00 per hour increase inside the prominent areas of the workplace for the benefit of their workers. They must also provide updated brochures with regard their workers’ compensation and for employees’ leaves of absences for family and health concerns.


For more information about Labor Lawyers, you can visit this website: http://www.employmentattorneyservices.com/

California School District Faces Discrimination Lawsuit

California School District Faces Discrimination Lawsuit

Discrimination in the workplace is prohibited in California under the state’s primary employment and labor statute, the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). According to a Los Angeles employment lawyer, it covers not just private businesses, but also public entities, including those that are responsible for operating public schools within a certain county or state. While it is expected for school officials to treat each other fairly within their daily operations, some of them go through the ordeal of being discriminated against and even being harassed because of their protected characteristic.

Such was the case of a former school official who filed a lawsuit against Santa Rosa City Schools, the largest school district in Sonoma County in California. Anastasia Zita, the plaintiff in the lawsuit which she filed last month, alleged that she was wrongfully terminated from her post as assistant superintendent last year after suffering from workplace discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. She named the seven members of the school board, as well as 50 others who are yet to be named, as the defendants in her suit.

According to the suit, the 52-year-old woman worked for the position of assistant superintendent for the said school district, a post she held since 2005. Her main duty is to oversee curriculum and instruction of Santa Rosa’s secondary schools. During her tenure, she experienced various forms of discrimination and harassment; in the lawsuit, she alleged that she was verbally harassed by her immediate superior. Likewise, she was passed over an opportunity for employment advancement due to age and race. She was also not allowed to take a leave of absence from work in order to attend to her ailing mother. The suit even mentioned that other co-workers also suffered maltreatment at the hands of the school officials.

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Some States That Are Primed to Approve a Wage Increase This Year

Last year, Governor Edmund Gerald “Jerry” Brown, Jr. of California passed into law a legislation that would increase the state’s current per-hour minimum wage of $8.00 to $9.00, which will take effect this July. According to a labor lawyer in Los Angeles, it also mandates another wage increase come 2016, in which the minimum wage will be raised to $10.00. With the passage of the law, California was one of the five states that approved an increase in the state minimum wage last year, joining Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Washington, DC.

Now that the nation’s capital and the five aforementioned states have done it, it is expected that a number of states would do the same for this year. In fact, as many as 11 states are on the cusp of passing laws this year that would increase their state minimum wages that would exceed the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, according to the projections of the National Employment Law Project or NELP.


Meanwhile, here are three states that are believed to be in great position to pass such laws anytime this year:


  • The State of Hawaii. Currently, the state where the President of the United States was born has a state minimum wage that is exactly the same as the federal minimum wage. This year, it is believed that it will be raising its per-hour rate to $9.25, which would increase each year based on the movement of the Hawaii’s Consumer Price Index (CPI). There is a major consensus between the state’s House and Senate with regard to the approval of the increase, though they thrown in different rates.


  • The State of Massachusetts. The Bay State’s minimum wage stands at $8.00. An increase is imminent, and it can happen in any of the two: (1) a ballot initiative would hopefully raise the state’s wage to $10.50, and (2) the state Senate’s members would agree to raise the minimum wage to $11.00.


  • The State of Maryland. There is no stopping the Governor of Maryland, Martin O’Malley, in going after the state minimum wage increase. From the current $7.25, it is planned to be raised to either $10.10 per hour (if enough signatures are met in the ballot initiative) or $11.00 (if the Senate approves of the bill).


These only prove how state governments are doing the wage increase by themselves, not waiting for the federal government to act on raising the federal minimum wage. Recently, however, the President himself had already expressed his all-out support for the increase of the federal per-hour rate, from the current $7.25 to $10.10. A lot of people, political and economic analysts alike, will be observing these plans in the coming months.

New Minimum Wage Laws in California: That Badly-needed Shot In the Arm For Minimum Wage Earners

You know that minimum wage is the lowest hourly, daily, or monthly salary one can get. However in some states, these levels are so low, they won’t suffice to get you your daily needs. Every day, life gets tougher. The needs of your family grow. The prices of basic goods and needs shoot up and yet, the salaries of employees cannot keep up with this trend. Well, at least, something was done and new laws about minimum wages were implemented.

Image from Lauren Nicole via Getty Images

Image from Lauren Nicole via Getty Images

Minimum Wage Adjustments: Finally

It has been a while since the minimum wage in California was adjusted. Since then, the prices of the goods that you need to survive in life have changed every so often. While there were instances when there were price cuts in some products, most of the price adjustments are going up, making your already small minimum wage, even smaller. And so, assembly bills have been filed, and now made in to law to finally raise these wages.

California’s New Minimum Wage Law: What has Changed?

Assembly Bill 10 was recently signed into law by California Governor Jerry Brown. This is an amendment to some of the provisions or the existing laws to help California workers get the right amount of wages, even at its lowest levels. Here are the changes that this amendment brings:

  • Rising of the current minimum wage of $8 per hour to $9 per hour to be implemented on the 1st of July 2014. The second trench of the adjustments will be made on the first of January 2016, which then again will be increased to $10 per hour.
  • With the higher wages also come higher penalties for violations of the law, strengthening labor laws that are currently being implemented.

What these Mean To Minimum Wage Earners?

The new minimum wages give workers that badly-needed bump in their salaries that can help increase the quality of their life. Such is a fitting reward for low-earning individuals that give their heart out for their jobs. Moreover, with the help of an employment lawyer in California, filing claims of violations against employers are made easier, and penalties pegged higher, giving poor victims the power to demand for the right wages that they deserve.

Certainly, there would still be some crooked employers that will try to take advantage of the ignorance of others when it comes to new legislation such as this. That is why this law will significantly help the people in putting an end to wage-related problems in the workplace.

What’s New for 2014? Employment Laws That You Should Know

In life, nothing but change is constant. No two things are ever the same and you have no choice but to keep up with these changes. Such is the same when it comes to employment laws. Every year, assemblymen and senators try to come up with amendments or new employment laws to promote the rights and welfare of every worker in California. And so, for you to be able to take advantage of these laws, you must first familiarize yourself with them so you can stand up and fight for your rights whenever there is a need for it.


Here is a list of the new employment and labor laws that were recently passed, signed into law, and are set to be implemented:


Paid Family leave Rights Amendment. This amendment, once enacted, will give workers up to six weeks of wage replacement benefits. Now, workers will have time off to take care of a seriously ill child, spouse, parent, domestic partner, or to bond with a newborn, or a child that has been recently placed through adoption or foster care. Employees who need time to care for sick siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, as well as parents-in-law are now allowed to take paid leaves of absence through this amendment.


Minimum Wage Increase. When enacted, this law will raise the minimum wage of every employee in California from the current $8.00 per hour to $9.00 per hour in July 1, 2014. Furthermore, the increased minimum wage will again be increased to $10.00 per hour beginning January 1, 2016. However, this increase does not just apply to nonexempt workers, but the people who work under the administrative, professional and executive exemptions in California.


Changes in the Definition of Sexual Harassment. According to this new law, sexual harassment now doesn’t have to be motivated by sexual desire. While this may make the definition of sexual harassment a bit difficult to understand, it offers new protection to people who have been sexually harassed.


Protections for victims of crimes. Under the new law, discrimination against victims of domestic violence or sexual assault, and now, includes stalking victims. Additionally, employers are now required to reasonably accommodate victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking by allowing these people to attend court proceedings for their on-going cases.


Protections for Immigrants. Immigrant workers who report about labor code violations will now have protections under Assembly Bill 263. According to this law, immigrants who have complaints cannot be reported to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement for this is considered an “unfair immigration-related practices”.


Amendment to the Fair Employment and Housing Act. Under Assembly Bill 556, military and veteran status becomes a protected category. This means that veterans and military people are now protected against discrimination, just like those people with different race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, and sexual orientation.


Now that these new employment and labor laws are being implemented, there would be better protections for the average Joe and Jane who work hard every day to earn a decent living. If you ever fall victims to these new laws, do not hesitate to stand up and fight for your rights. You should immediately hire a good employment or labor lawyer to help you with your claims. Thanks to these new laws, you are now more protected, better than ever, against abuse, harassment, and discrimination in the workplace.



You may also find this helpful “Number of Wage and Hour Claim Soar High in 2013

State, Local Agencies in California No Longer Have to Ask Job Applicants’ Criminal History

People with criminal histories looking for jobs in local and state agencies in California are now breathing their collective sigh of relief after Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a new legislation last October 10. The newly-signed Assembly Bill 218which was authored by Assemblyman Roger Dickinson (D-Sacramento), “would prohibit a state or local agency from asking an applicant to disclose information regarding a criminal conviction… until after the applicant’s qualifications for the position have been determined to meet the requirements for the position.” Prior to the bill’s signage into law, job seekers are immediately rejected during initial applications after disclosing their criminal pasts. The law will take effect July next year.

Asking about criminal records or running background checks is lawful, but only after first determining if an applicant’s qualifications meet the requirements of the job. Instances wherein this restriction can be waived off are for job openings in law enforcement, positions which entail working with children, the elderly or the disabled, and other sensitive positions in which criminal background checks are done at the employers’ discretion.

Criminal History

California Employers No Longer Have to Ask Job Applicants’ Criminal History

Also, this new law is yet another victory for groups and advocates pushing for the civil rights of former offenders. According to Assemblyman Dickinson, approximately one-fourth of adults living in California have had an arrest or a conviction record.

Additionally, advocates also mentioned that questioning someone’s criminal history during the initial job application had an effect during the time when the unemployment rate in the U.S. rose to 7 percent. Add in the fact that 65 million Americans have served jail sentences. They also said that questioning someone’s criminal past during the initial job application has a disproportionate effect on minorities.

Incidentally, the State of California isn’t the only state that has such a law. Eight other states have similar laws, with New Jersey possibly going next in line. Minnesota and Rhode Island were the two states that legalized similar bills earlier this year, in May and July, respectively.

Meanwhile, a Los Angeles employment lawyer commented on the recent ruling, stating that AB 218 is one of the laws that make the State of California more applicant- and employee-friendly states in the U.S. According to the top attorney who handles employment and labor law cases, ex-offenders who are in need of jobs will now have a chance to prove themselves to perform work in line with the minimum qualifications.


Admission of a Transgender Professor Shocks California School Administrators

Schools are institutions that are expected to guide children. They don’t just teach kids academic stuff that makes them equipped to take on the world when they grow up. These institutions, serve as our children’s second home, teaching them the importance of many values on how to be good citizens of the nation. Respect is one of those important values that kids must be taught. Respect can make one humble, responsible, loving, and understanding. This very important trait can help people better accept people for who they are and what they believe in even if it is against ours.


An educational institution teaches good manners and the right conduct to young kids. Preventing discrimination is one of those values. However, how can one parent believe that your children will get the right values if the very institution that is expected to teach them what’s right can’t practice such virtues? In Azusa, California, a professor from a local Christian College is about to lose his job after coming out that he is a transgender.


Adam Ackley has been a systematic theology professor at the Azusa Pacific University for 15 years now. He has been known in the private Christian college as “Heather” – until he made the big reveal, According to him, while he has struggled for years living as a married woman, he now divulges his true sexuality, that he was a transgender man and that he is now going through a painful divorce process.


Ackley, has decided to let APU know about his plans for a legal name change but school officials fear that his true identity and sexuality may have an effect on future admissions and donations that the school might receive. The school released a statement that this matter is being discussed to ensure that all parties will be “treated with dignity and respect”, making it a “confidential matter”. However, Ackley believes that he might be replaced soon, leaving his students in tears, devastated.


Legal implications


As for APC, terminating the services of Ackley, just because of his sexuality, is clearly a case of gender discrimination in the workplace. According to a Los Angeles lawyer, discriminating against one person because of his or her gender is a clear violation of labor laws in the state. If a person becomes a victim of such injustice, he or she can file a complaint to make an institution liable for such acts of injustice. And so, the students of the school, their parents, the LGBT community, and everybody else will be eagerly waiting for APC’s decision. Will they do the right thing and decide based on their conscience?