As many workers in the state of California are probably aware by now, the beginning of 2018 saw the implementation of a welcome rise in both the amount of minimum wage and by extension, the exempt salary threshold that employers are now required to pay their workers. So, what does this mean for employees throughout the state?
A recent investigation has many California workers expecting some back pay in the near future. The California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) has completed an investigation where they have found many workers who were entitled to back pay for wages owed from previous employment. Workers who were affected can expect to receive a notification letter alerting them to upcoming back pay disbursement.
It's something that many of us have experienced at some point in our working lives. On your first day of work at a new job, it's not uncommon to spend a little time filling out some necessary paperwork and going over some of the standard policies and expectations of your new employer. It's usually around this time, in the early days of your employment with any company, that you may also be informed of a policy that strongly discourages or prohibits employees from discussing the details of their personal wages, benefits or other compensation with each other. Doing so, you're informed, can result in disciplinary action - including being fired from your job.
In California, most employees are legally considered to be employed "at will". While the laws related to being employed "at will" can differ from state to state, in California this means that your employer basically has the right to terminate your employment when they like, for any reason they feel warrants it, as long as the reason isn't in violation of your civil rights.
The recent efforts of California to provide some measure of protection for the undocumented workers and their families who reside and are employed in the state are currently being met with resistance from the Department of Justice, which filed a complaint against the state in the U.S. District Court in Sacramento on March 6th. The lawsuit was in response to three “sanctuary” laws passed in California in 2017, which the Justice Department alleges will obstruct the efforts of federal immigration officials to investigate the status of undocumented workers and further enforce federal immigration laws, creating a potentially harmful threat to the general safety of the public.
"If all the women who had been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote 'Me too.'as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem." This post was retweeted on Alyssa Milano's Twitter feed encouraging those who have been a victim of harassment or assault to help create a unified voice to draw attention to this silent crisis that is affecting America. The unfortunate truth is that many women have been taught that these things are private, embarrassing, and sometimes even too shameful to acknowledge.
A new federal tax reform bill signed into law at the end of 2017 and put into effect on January 1, 2018 could lead to changes for many employees across the country. As corporations begin adapting to the significant amount of revisions made by the new law, employees should be prepared for both the positive and negative outcomes that may be reflected in their benefits and in their paychecks.
While working as an independent contractor may not offer the same benefits as working as an employee, there are plenty of advantages it does offer such as the ability to set your own hours and, in a way, work as your own boss.
Tesla, the well known manufacturer of the popular Tesla Model S, Model X and Model 3 electric cars, is now under scrutiny in the wake of a class-action lawsuit claiming that several of the African American employees at the company’s main auto manufacturing facility in Fremont have been the victims of racial discrimination and harassment. Although Tesla has already responded to these claims with a lengthy denial of wrongdoing on the company’s blog, this type of response is common for large companies and more often than not is not a reliable way to gauge the actual experiences of the employees. While a denial of wrongdoing may be in the best interest of the company as a whole, the increasing number of allegations claiming that employees are facing discrimination and harassment at the Fremont plant are beginning to add up to a broader cause for concern.
One of the many important rights that members of our armed forces should be able to count on when they return from a period of service is a reliable measure of job security. This protection comes from the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA), which provides members of the National Guard and Reserve with the right to reemployment following an absence for military service. USERRA was enacted with the intention of helping prevent the discrimination of and retaliation against service members by their employers as a result of their reserve duty related absences. When an employer is thought to have violated these rights, the Department of Justice can and will take action in aid of the service member, if this is deemed necessary.