If you live and work in California, it is important that you understand the new employment laws that went into effect at the beginning of the year and that you recognize how they might impact you. From the types of questions potential employers can ask during your interview to your options as far as taking leave from your place of employment, the state’s laws have undergone numerous changes in recent months.
Most California companies must follow the Fair Labor Standards Act when designating employees as exempt or nonexempt. Labeling a worker as a manager is not sufficient to meet the laws that govern whether a person receives overtime pay. Rules guiding these designations vary by industry, but the duties of the employee actually determine job classification instead of an employer’s arbitrary decision or belief.
The Fair Labor Standards Act requires employers in California and around the country to pay their workers overtime when they work more than 40 hours during a workweek, but employees who perform bona fide administrative, executive or professional duties are not covered by the landmark 1938 federal law. The statute does not clearly define what makes a position a white-collar job, and the courts have generally ruled that workers are covered by the FLSA unless their duties plainly and unmistakably fall within the exemption.
Employees of Dave & Buster’s successfully sued the chain for intentionally cutting hours to avoid the Affordable Care Act health insurance mandate. In the lawsuit, they used an unusual approach to advance their argument. Because it may be the first successful suit of its kind, its effect could be felt in California and elsewhere around the country.
You and a co-worker might have started off sharing some innocent-seeming banter, the occasional joke that made you blush and even some light-hearted flirting. Now, however, your co-worker’s behavior seems to be gradually escalating, and you are starting to get uncomfortable with the jokes and flirtatious touching. You might have told your co-worker to back off, only to have him or her ignore your requests or continue the behavior after a few days or weeks. Like many other Californians who are going through the same thing, you might wonder if you are a victim of sexual harassment.
Many Californians have been the victims of sexual harassment, and some may have participated in the online #metoo campaign. As stories abound in the media about powerful figures being accused of sexually harassing and assaulting women, some victims might wonder what they can do if they are being harassed at their jobs.