Seven California Labor Laws That Could Make Employers Pay

A few months ago there was a piece that hit the news informing California Employers that California was in the top five states in the nation when it comes to states that are unfriendly to employers.

This article will be a good reminder and also include new information that was not in the previous report.

  1. Certain California Lawsuits can have no caps

Employers did you know that Federal anti-discrimination statutes like the Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act along with the Americans with Disabilities Act, have a noneconomic damages cap of $300,000. While this cap is there at the Federal level, California has no such cap because of the unlimited compensatory and punitive damages that are available here in California.  This is why it is extremely important to be Cal-OSHA compliant!

  1. Class Action Lawsuits need only 2 or more employees to get started.

Some of the main reasons that a class action lawsuit gets started is:

  • Overtime Claims
  • Missed Meal and Rest Breaks
  • Improper Record Keeping
  • Failing to provide ergonomic or suitable seating to employees
  • Improper Payroll deductions plus others
  1. Keeping Current with Minimum Wage Laws

Keeping track of employees who are paid by either flag hours or by piece-rate is very difficult to pay correctly.  In California, all piece-rate along with commission workers must be compensated at minimum wage for all work that time that is not spent on piece-rate or commission work.

An example of this would be in the automotive industry. When an automotive repair tech runs for parts, or move a car in and a car out that is considered non-performance duties and the tech must be paid at minimum wage for that and other non-performance jobs.

These non-performance jobs would also include the two ten minute breaks that are required by law.

  1. Daily overtime. Unlike the Federal Overtime Law, California employers must pay overtime for any employee that works over eight hours in a day or forty hours in a week.  The rate of overtime pay is at 11/2 of the normal hourly wage.

If the employee works 12 or more hours in a day the overtime rate increases to double the normal rate of pay.

  1. Meal and rest breaks. Employees who are non-exempt according to California State law must be provided an unpaid, duty-free, minimum of 30-minute meal break before the fifth hour, the lunch break must be over by the sixth hour of work. The break can be waived if the employee works no more than six hours. Should and employee work 10 hours or more.  This break can be waived but only if the first break was taken.
  2. Paid sick leave. Once an employee has worked at least 30 days for a company in California they employee is entitled to begin to accrue paid sick leave at the rate of 1 hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked.  There are a couple of other accrual methods but this one is the state’s default method. Each employee may accrue up to 24 hours of paid sick leave.  Some cities in California allow employees to accrue more.
  3. Waiting time penalties. If an employee is terminated and is not paid everything that they are owed which would include accrued vacation or paid time off the employee may go either to the labor board or visit an attorney and the employer may find themselves paying the employee up to 30 days of additional wages. days.

Failure to comply with these Cal-OSHA and California Labor Laws can result in thousands, if not millions of dollars worth of fines being levied against your business. Be sure that you are in compliance with California labor laws and avoid hefty fees in the future by contacting the most trusted Cal-OSHA and labor law consultant in California – CES Today!