Many workers in California are too trusting of their employers. They believe their bosses have a good understanding of state and federal employment laws. However, many employers do not stay on top of the changes in these laws. As a result, some employers routinely violate these laws.
It is important for you to know your employment rights to keep yourself from being treated unfairly and receiving less pay than you deserve. Here is a brief overview of some common employment law violations that often happen in workplaces across Southern California.
Some employers try to get around paying their workers fairly by miscalculating the amount of overtime they are due. The Fair Labor Standards Act requires employers to pay their workers time and a half for every hour over 40 hours they work in a week. Many employers who pay biweekly calculate overtime pay differently by only paying overtime for hours worked beyond 80 hours every two weeks.
Unsafe work environments
Employers must provide you and your coworkers with a safe and hazard-free work environment. When employers do not take measures to ensure the workplace is safe and free of certain hazards, they could face a lawsuit or fines for the violations. In addition to maintaining safe premises, employers must provide proper training about potential workplace hazards, how to avoid and report them.
Some employers misclassify their workers as independent contractors, part-time, or exempt when they are actually full-time employees to avoid paying overtime and giving them benefits to which the federal law entitles them. It is important for workers to pay attention to the number of hours they work each day and week and their job duties. They should closely examine their pay stubs to make sure their employer is not underpaying, misclassifying or denying any of their entitled benefits.
If you suspect your employer is violating your employment rights, do not be afraid to speak up. There are state and federal laws in place that protect against retaliation and other unlawful and demeaning tactics employers may take to discourage you. You should also consider speaking to an attorney for guidance.