Employees in California and around the country benefit from certain legal rights that are intended to protect them from unfair labor practices in the workplace. However, many workers are unaware of these rights and may not even realize it when one has been violated. Employers must be aware of their obligations to stay in compliance with the law.
Some of the most common ways that employers may infringe upon their workers' rights involve excessive limits on how they use their time. Employers cannot ask employees to work outside of their regular work hours without proper compensation, and neither can employees consent to this practice themselves. Similarly, if employees work regular hours at places delineated by employers, then they likely are in fact "employees" and not independent contractors. Employers who attempt to skirt this particular restriction may open themselves up to legal liability.
In addition, employers must adhere to certain stipulations with respect to how employees are compensated. Employers sometimes classify their own workers as exempt from overtime pay, but in reality, the federal government decides which jobs qualify for unpaid overtime and which do not. Employees also have a right to discuss their wages with one another and even complain about their boss on social media in their own personal time. While some employees have been disciplined for this in the past, the National Labor Relations Board has specified that such actions constitute violations of employee rights.
Employees who feel that their rights have been somehow violated may wish to consult with an employment law attorney about their situation. These cases will often require an investigation by an attorney into the policies and procedures of the workplace in question in order to verify whether a violation has indeed occurred.