Posted By Sirmabekian
Workers in California are protected by labor regulations. It makes no difference where you were born or what your legal status is. You have rights once you’ve been hired. Employment law governs the rights and duties that exist between an employer and an employee. In California, laws regarding employment are always evolving. Whether you’re an applicant seeking a job or currently employed, it is important to know your rights as a California worker. Read on to find out more about California employee rights.
Employees in California must be paid wages according to the minimum wage law. Violating wage laws may result in hefty penalties for employers. As of Jan 1, 2022, the minimum wage is $15 per hour for employers with 26 or more employees and $14 per hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees.
Non-exempt employees who work more than five hours per workday are entitled to meal breaks of at least 30 minutes. In addition, employees working more than 10 hours per workday must be provided with another 30-minute break.
Rights to Privacy
You are entitled to have privacy at work. This applies to your personal belongings including purses, backpacks, and storage lockers that are accessible only by you. All private mails addressed to you and personal phone calls are subject to the same rights to privacy. However, these rights do not extend to internet usage when you are using your company’s network and computer system.
Safety and Health
Employers are responsible for ensuring a safe working environment. Many injuries can be prevented with the right measures. To keep you safe at work, your employers must:
- Identity all health and safety hazards and correct them
- Develop a health and safety plan which is also referred to as the Injury and Illness Prevention Program
- Educate you about workplace hazards and provide proper training on working safely
- Ensure you are covered under insurance and pay for medical expenses for work-related illnesses or injuries
- Keep a log of all workplace illnesses and injuries that need further treatment besides first aid
You have the right to report your employer for failing to follow safety standards. Also, it’s against the law for your employer to fire you for making a complaint about dangerous working conditions.
Right to Take Action
You have the right to inform your employer of your employee rights. You can also make a complaint or file a claim against your employer who is violating these rights. Your employer cannot punish or fire you for taking these actions. However, here are some ways you can protect yourself:
- Organize a discussion with your co-workers and develop a plan about what to do. Acting as a group can give you more legal protection and power compared to acting alone.
- Seek help from legal aid groups or worker organizations. They can help you learn about your rights, advise you on how to address the issues, and give you suggestions on what you can say to your employer.
- Take notes during your meeting with your employer. Note down who was present, when the meeting took place, and what was being discussed.
- If you decide that it isn’t safe to speak with your employer, you can make a direct report to state agencies regarding the problems you are facing.