Knowledge — 2 years ago

California Labor Laws and Employee Rights in California

by Peggy B.

California Labor Law, California Labor Laws
What are California Labor Laws?
The rights and responsibilities of unionized employees are taken into account while regulating labor laws in general. These unions can negotiate for better remuneration, convenient work hours, and an increase in workplace safety. Employers are expected to follow specific rules when they deal with union members. The states are allowed to make their labor law relations, but these laws should comply with the National Labor Relations Act. These labor laws are also referred to as a set of standards for working conditions and wage laws.

In the United States, the federal government has established a minimum standard for the protection of employees and has set laws concerning minimum wage, anti-discrimination laws, however, every state is allowed to set employment laws that companies and employers need to keep track of and follow. California is a state whose employment laws are known to be significantly beneficial towards employees compared to other states in the country. Along with federal employment laws, California laws add more rights and benefits for employees.

California Labor Law

Ban the box
The California Fair Employment and Housing Act do not allow an employer who has five or more employees to include any question on a job application that question’s an applicant's criminal conviction history. It is a statewide "ban the box" law which also prohibits covered employers from inquiring about or considering an applicant's criminal history until the applicant has received a conditional offer.

California Equal Pay Act
California labor laws benefit employees for their overtime, equal wage and hour law, and fair pay. The act states that employers are not allowed to pay different fees to people of varying gender, while they are performing the same job. Employers are however free to reward employees with better salaries if it is based on work ethics, experience or skills that you can quantify rather than by gender.
Overtime pay
Any employee in the state of California who works for more than eight hours per day or 40 hours per week is expected to be paid one and one-half times the regular hourly rate as it is considered overtime. Anyone who works for more than 12 hours in one day must be paid at twice the regular hourly rate.

California Fair Employment Act
The act has set out some ‘protected classes.’ These are attributes that employees are prohibited from taking into account when they choose who to employ. These factors include race, skin color, religion, sex, age, marital status. Employers are restricted from considering disability, illness, sexuality, nationality before they employ someone.

California Labor Laws
Access to personnel files
In the state of California, employers are expected to provide current and former employees with access to their personnel files. The employer is required to make the records available for inspection by the employee who requested it, at reasonable times and intervals, but generally no later than 30 calendar days after receiving a written request. The employer is free to charge a fee that equals the actual cost of copying the materials.

Drug testing
In the state of California, labor laws state that drug testing of job applicants is allowed. An employer is obligated to provide applicants with notice of the drug testing requirement.

Whistleblower protection act
The law prohibits an employer's retaliation against an employee who reports any violation of state or federal laws at the workplace, to a government official or the police. Any retaliation concerning reporting of a suspected violation internally, for example, to a supervisor within the organization or externally is also prohibited under this act. Any employee who is eligible for protection under California's whistleblower laws has a right to file a claim for any damages that are sustained from the retaliation.


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