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Know your rights at work

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Work can be back-breaking and intellectually consuming, so it is important to be paid fairly, and in California there are specific laws protecting employees from wage theft or discrimination. Not only do employers need to meet the state minimum wage, there are other laws on the books affording rights to California workers.

According to NBC News, the Golden State has the lowest gender pay gap in the country. This may be due in part to a law that prevents employers from asking applicants about previous salary history, as women are often paid less than male colleagues for the same work. This law helps workers from being locked into a career of earning below their potential since the negotiation will not be based on an arbitrary number determined by a different company in different circumstances. It is also important to note that under both California and federal law, it is illegal for an employer to punish any employees who choose to discuss their wages.

In addition to laws protecting workers from wage discrimination, there are overtime pay regulations that are worth learning to guard against wage theft. CBS Los Angeles reports that for any day where an employee works more than eight hours in a day, he or she is eligible for overtime pay. For work that exceeds eight hours, employees are to be paid time-and-a-half, and once an employee has worked over 12 hours in a day, that rate increases to double-time. This also applies for working every day in a week--on the seventh day the employee makes time-and-a-half, and double-time pay begins after eight hours of work.

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