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.