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

Dating Company Settles Sex Discrimination

Usually, when one mentions the term “discrimination based on sex” a person would probably think that the victim of such act is a woman. Why is that so? It probably has something to do about women being treated as second-class citizens back in the day. Actually, there are still countries in some parts of the world where women are treated differently from men. But in the “land of the freeare there still victims of sex discrimination?

 

Men being the subject of sex discrimination

 

What many people don’t know is that sex discrimination is not limited to women. While more women come forward as victims of discrimination, men actually do fall victims for sex discrimination as well. Just recently, a man filed a sex discrimination claim against a company offering matchmaking services. Through the help of the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the man filed a sexual discrimination lawsuit against the company for refusing to hire men as dating directors and inside sales representatives. Moreover, the firm retaliated against one of their former human resources director as retaliation for her opposition to the discriminative hiring policies of the company. Through the assistance of the EEOC, the male victim was able to settle the case with the company. Moreover, this settlement paved the way for the company to change its ways and stop discrimination in the firm.

 

The EEOC’s helping hand to victims of

discrimination

 

The EEOC is working very hard to be able to adhere to its mandate of putting an end to gender discrimination in the workplace. Any form discrimination whether on the basis of one’s sex, race, national origin, color, disability, age, or religion is a violation of the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. With that being the EEOC’s main reason for existence, this recent settlement is one great victory not just for the agency and the complainant, but for all the victims of discrimination.

 

If you have been a victim of age, race, disability, national origin, religion, or sex discrimination, do not just stand there and do nothing. Get the help of a good Los Angeles lawyer to help you. Do not let these employers take advantage of you and trample on your rights.

Restaurant Owner Sued For Sexually Harassing Female Employees

Everybody just wants to have a source of livelihood.  Sources of income that will help them get by their everyday lives. Help them make both ends meet and buy them the things they need for everyday living. While some workplaces will let you do that without much fuss, there are workplaces where doing that is not as easy. Some colleagues, or supervisors in the workplace have the tendency of taking advantage of one worker, especially the female employees.

Threats to female employees

Female workers are the most prone individuals to harassment and discrimination in the workplace. Although laws mandating the fair treatment of women exist, there are still individuals who refer to women as “the weaker sex”. Despite the many contributions of women to society, some people tend to look down at women and take advantage of their weakness. One perfect example is the case that involves a female employee of a company that runs several Italian restaurants in the country. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) sued the company after a woman complained of sexual harassment and retaliation that she had gone through in her previous workplace. The restaurant owner allegedly subjected her and other female employees to unwelcome and offensive sexual harassment. The suspect was alleged to have touched the buttocks, lower backs and shoulders of the victim. Moreover, the suspect was said to have rubbed his genitalia against the buttocks of the female employees. Finally, the employer-suspect made comments about the bodies of the employees, calling them “hot”, “sexy”, other sexually suggestive remarks, sexual innuendos, and even asking for massages.

Fighting for women’s rights in the office

The EEOC, among other government agencies as well as California attorneys are working together to help stop these kinds of abuse. Agencies are implementing laws to prevent the abuse and harassment of women in the workplace. However, the fight can’t be won without victims surfacing and standing up for their rights. If victims won’t do something about the injustices done against them, they wouldn’t be able to stop such acts of harassment and abuse.

A California wrongful termination lawyer reminds the victims that they should immediately approach the authorities in the event that such abuse happens to you. By being courageous enough, and fighting for your rights, you will be able to get these abusive people liable for their actions and you will get the justice that you deserve.

Some Things You Might Not Be Aware of About the California Tipping Laws

Aside from the regular minimum and overtime wages, people who perform work in establishments such as casinos and restaurants also receive tips from their customers. When employees, particular wait staff, receive tips, it basically means that they have offered their customers an excellent service. Such practice is tolerated in the State of California; in fact, its labor laws protect even tipped employees.

California laws on tips, unfortunately, are not recognized by many employees who work in casinos, restaurants, and other establishments. In most cases, tipped employees often disregard their employers’ actions or inaction’s regarding the matter, without them knowing that the latter has already been violating the basic provision on tipping. The basic provision of the tipping laws in California states that an employer does not have the right to obtain a share of the tips that their employees receive.

Tip Violation

If you are a tipped employee and you think the tips that you receive goes to your employer, then it is a must that you first file a complaint with your immediate superior. If your employer does not do so something about it, then you can either contact a labor attorney or file your complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH).

Meanwhile, here are some things you might not be aware of with regard to the tipping laws in California:

  • A mandatory tip pooling policy is allowed in California businesses. Under the prevailing tip laws in the state, a tip or any gratuity left for an employee in a tip pooling setup belongs to all employees “who directly contributed to the services of the customer.” It should be, however, fairly and equally distributed among the employees in order to promote peace among those involved in the tip pooling.
  • Managers who foresee the activities of the wait staff may be included in the tip pooling scheme. However, managers who have the authority to hire or terminate a member of the wait staff and do not work on the floor with them are not included in the tip pooling setup.
  • Tipped employees may receive double tips, given that the employers may add a service charge to the customers’ bill.

To know more about other provisions regarding tips, you may consult with an experienced Los Angeles labor lawyer.

What Does Your Company’s Employment Contract Should Have?

Employment contracts are among the most important documents you could have as an employee as they contain the description of your employment relationship with your employer. These documents also contain everything from one worker’s duties and responsibilities, compensation, as well as the benefits that one person should receive.

What Does Your Company’s Employment Contract Should Have?

What Does Your Company’s Employment Contract Should Have?

 

If you are an employer, you should know how to correctly and appropriately draft employment contracts. So how should you draft one and what should an employment contract contain?

  • The parties involved in the contract. First and foremost, the contract should contain information about the parties or persons involved in the contract. It should contain the contact information of the employee and the employer. Put in the legal names of both the employee and the employer or the business. Get and include the names, addresses, phone and e-mail numbers of both parties.
  • The terms and conditions of the employment. In this part of the contract, you should put in all of the terms and conditions that come with one’s employment. Here, the date of employment, the compensation one should receive, and the position, as well as the duties of the employee should be properly stated. It would be best that these things should be explained specifically to ensure that there would be no misunderstandings between the employer and employee in the future.
  • Policies and procedures. This would help guide them employee to prevent problems with his stay with the company.
  • Mention agreements, statements or clauses. Depending on the nature of one’s employment, you may need them to agree on certain non-disclosure, privacy agreements or statements that are important to the company.
  • Agreement termination. You should stipulate in the contract how the agreement could be terminated. Here the employee should see the possible causes of one’s firing. You can also add the severance packages that the company offers.
  • Signature of both parties. This is one of the most important parts of a employment contract. This shows that both parties do agree on what the contract contains. The signature of both parties makes the contract valid and the absence of one makes the contract null and void.

While it is generally easy to draft a contract, one should realize the real-world implications that every word or punctuation mark has. That is why you will need the help of a Los Angeles employment attorney in making one.