Calabasas Employment Law Blog

State laws protect workers from sexual harassment

Sexual harassment in the workplace does not have to be tolerated. Recent legislation in California lowered the minimum number of employees required for an employer to provide sexual harassment prevention training. Sexual harassment training is now required when employers have at least five employees rather than the previous number of fifty. Participant requirements were also extended to all employees and not just supervisory employees. In addition, sexual harassment awareness training is required every two years. There are also some criticisms including that in-person trainings are not required.

Sexual harassment is something workers in California do not have to tolerate. It is important for California workers to be familiar with what sexual harassment is and the legal protections available to them. Sexual harassment can take different forms. Sexual harassment generally includes quid pro quo sexual harassment and hostile work environment sexual harassment.

Workers should be fairly compensated

It is important for workers to receive all the pay they have earned, so they can support their families. It is important for them to know how to stand up against wage and hour violations and to be familiar with the legal options and protections available to them to ensure they receive what they are owed.

Workers generally must, at a minimum, receive minimum wage for the work they performed. In addition, workers may be owed compensation if they were paid by the job but not paid separately for time between jobs; if they were paid for sales commissions but not time spent at work when they were unable to earn a commission; if the worker was not paid for all of their overtime worked or at the overtime rate of pay; if the worker was told to wait to clock in after arriving at work; if the worker was told to go home after arriving at work; if the worker was not provided meal and rest breaks; or if the worker was terminated or resigned before receiving their final paycheck.

Protections from sexual harassment for Californians

Sexual harassment is a form of workplace discrimination that violates both federal and state laws in California. It is essential for workers in California to be familiar with legal protections from sexual harassment in their workplaces.

Sexual harassment refers to both unwelcome sexual advances and conduct and actions that are sexual in nature that create a hostile, intimidating and offensive work environment. Unwelcome sexual advances can include visual, verbal or physical conduct that is sexual in nature. Workers in California have a right to a workplace free from sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is usually activity based on sex, however, the harasser and the victim need not be of the same sex for protections from sexual harassment

All hourly workers in California should receive overtime pay

Hourly workers deserve to receive fair pay for every minute they work. Unfortunately, there are many ways that companies can attempt to take advantage of their hourly workers. There are a range of schemes that businesses can employ to minimize how much they pay their workers.

One common tactic is to avoid paying overtime to staff at all costs. Overtime wages are a right of hourly workers under U.S. federal law. For almost any professional, working past the 40th hour in any given pay period should entitle them to at least one and a half times their standard hourly rate of pay.

Reporting wage and hour violations

When a worker has suffered wage and hour violations, and have not received the full pay they have earned, it is helpful for workers to know how to recover the wages they are due and how to protect their wage and hour rights. To do so, they should be familiar with what their wage and hour protections are.

Wage and hour violations refer to when an employee is improperly denied minimum wage pay, overtime pay or some other types of pay in certain situations as well such as vacation pay in some circumstances. Wage and hour protections refer to the options that worker has when they have suffered a wage and hour violation and not received all of the pay they earned.

California workers are protected from workplace discrimination

For workers who are discriminated against or who have suffered wrongful termination, legal protections are available. If an employee has been fired for an unlawful reason, it may be considered wrongful termination and legal resources may be available to help the employees that have been harmed by the unlawful acts of an employer.

Wrongful termination can occur in circumstances when an employee has been fired for reporting workplace discrimination, harassment or retaliation; when an employee has been fired for demanding that they be compensated for overtime hours worked; when an employee has been fired for protesting unsafe or illegal working conditions; when an employee is fired for refusing to violate the law; when an employee refuses to commit fraud against the government; when the employee has reported a misappropriation of funds; and when employees refuse to engage in discrimination or retaliation.

The different protections for victims of sexual harassment

Sexual harassment is something that no one in the workplace has to tolerate. Sexual harassment laws protect victims which is why victims of sexual harassment in the workplace should be familiar with what they can do if they are being sexually harassed in their workplace.

The actions that victims of sexual harassment can take are important to understand and include as part of the first step letting the personal harassing them know that the harassment is not acceptable. If this does not stop the harassment, the victim should follow their employer's procedures for addressing sexual harassment in the workplace and should certainly inform their employer of the harassment they are suffering.

Protections for workers when employers take advantage of them

It is important for employers not to take advantage of their employees who go to work each day to earn a living and support themselves and their families. Workers should be familiar with the ways employers can take advantage of them and the remedies and resources they have available to them if they do.

Employee rights are an important protection under the law and are worth workers being familiar with. One way that employers can take advantage of workers and violate their rights is to fail to pay overtime pay. When employers require workers to clock out early or alter time sheets so as not to pay overtime pay, they may have violated the worker's rights. Another way that an employer may take advantage of employees that is against the law is by improperly classifying them as independent contractor. If a worker does not meet this definition but is classified by an employer as such, they may pay more taxes than they expect and go without benefits.

Know your right to a fair rest period or meal break

You may think that your employer is following all the rules when they give you breaks, but that's not always true. Depending on when the breaks are, your employer could be in violation of California's wage and hour laws.

According to California law, employers can't make employees work over five hours a day without a break of at least 30 minutes. There is an exception, which is that you may choose to waive your right to a break if your shift is no more than six hours long.

New workplace and sexual harassment laws in California

New state workplace laws recently went into effect at the beginning of the New Year. The laws were inspired by the recent focus on sexual harassment nationally. A total of eight bills were signed focusing on sexual harassment and other types of harassment and limiting the same in the workplace. One of the new laws relates to the number of women on the boards of publicly traded companies based in California.

Another new law prevents employers from requiring workers to sign certain documents as a condition for obtaining or retaining a job or receiving a raise or bonus. One type of document workers cannot be required to sign is an agreement not to bring a claim against the employer under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act. The other is an agreement that would prevent the worker from disclosing information related to unlawful activity in the workplace including sexual harassment. The California Fair Employment and Housing Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of age, gender, race or other protected status. The latter law applies to both public and private employers in California.

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