California Labor Code

Work breaks and meals

17 Mar Work Breaks and Meals

California law provides for work breaks and meals for non-exempt employees. Your employer must provide rest and meal breaks depending on how long you work. The labor code provides for a paid 10 minute break for each 4 hours of work. Additionally, the labor code provides for a 30 minute meal break. This kicks if you're working at least 8 hours. Critically, the meal break doesn't count as a rest break. For example, let's take the typical 8-hour shift. Because you work for 8 hours, the law requires your employer to give you a 30 minute meal break at some point. Additionally, you still get two paid rest breaks of ten minutes each, one for each 4 hours you work. Unfortunately, employers regularly fail to abide by these requirements. This is particularly true in the service industry. For example, during the holiday shopping seasons, retail managers may push employees to work through breaks or meal periods during busy times. If you have questions about work breaks and meals, you should contact an employment attorney. You may have a claim against your employer if it has not provided you with breaks and meal periods as required by law. If your employer has failed to provide you with meal or rest breaks, contact the Khadder Law Firm today for a free consultation. For more, follow us on Twitter and Instagram....

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What does "exempt" mean

06 Mar What’s an Exempt Employee?

What's an exempt employee? It simply means that an employee is exempt from certain wage and hour laws. We've written a few posts about the difference between employees and independent contractors. But there are also two kinds of employees: exempt and non-exempt. What does it mean for an employee to be exempt? Both federal and California law have lots of laws governing employment. For example, laws that set a minimum wage or require overtime pay. But some of these laws don't apply to all employees. For instance, the law doesn't require overtime pay for some salaried employees. These employees are exempt from the overtime law. How do I know if I'm exempt? California law presumes that an employee is non-exempt. Accordingly, the employer bears the burden to show that an employee is exempt. To do so, the employer must show that the employee fits plainly and unmistakably within the exemptions’ terms. It is a mixed question of law and fact, but again, the burden is on the employer. Additionally, California law is more protective than federal law on this issue. California wage and hour laws address several categories of exempt employees. Employees must satisfy certain criteria to fall within each exemption. All of them use what is called the “primarily engaged in” test. Under this test, your employer may consider you an exempt employee if you're primarily engaged in work that qualifies for exemption. You're primarily engaged in exempt work if more than 50% of the work that you do falls within the exemption. So if more than 50% of your work is of the type that qualifies for a specific exemption, your employer can consider you exempt. Types of exemptions One of the more common exemptions is the executive, administrative and professional employees' exemption. To be exempt under this category, you have to be primarily engaged in duties that meet the test of the exemption, which are established by a wage order. Under this rule, you have to customarily and regularly exercise discretion and independent judgment in performing those duties. Also, you have to earn a monthly salary that is equivalent to at least twice the state minimum wage for full time employment. The idea is this: If you are an employee working at a restaurant, or working in a job that pays you by the hour, and you don’t make more than twice the minimum wage, then you don’t really manage people, and you don’t exercise independent judgments - you basically have a supervisor or manager that tells you what to do - California wage and hour laws should protect you. You should be able to get minimum wage pay and overtime pay, and other protections under the California labor code. There are other exemptions as well. If you believe that your employer has wrongfully classified you as an exempt employee, contact the Khadder Law Firm today for a free initial consultation. For more, follow us on Twitter and Instagram....

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Different employment classifications

02 Mar Different Employment Classifications

There are three different employment classifications. Two of them fall within the employee classification. The other one falls into the independent contractor classification. Different employment classifications: Two types of employees The first are a exempt employees. An exempt employee is an employee that the labor code exempts from minimum wage and overtime requirements. The labor code sets out certain requirements to be exempt. Employees that meet those requirements are exempt. The second are non-exempt employees. Under the labor code, minimum wage and overtime pay requirements apply to non-exempt employees. This is the default classification for employees. Therefore, courts presume an employee is non-exempt unless the employer can affirmatively show they fit into one of the exempt categories. Non-employee classification: Independent contractors Lastly, there are independent contractors. Independent contractors are not employees. Any person an employer pays for work who is not an employee, is an independent contractor. Much of state and federal labor and employment law does not apply to independent contractors. For example, there is no minimum wage for independent contractors. Furthermore, employers need not provide benefits to independent contractors. But California law presumes employee status, so employers must prove someone is eligible to be an independent contractor if it comes before a court. These are the different employment classifications. If you have a job, you fall into one of these three categories. Unfortunately, employers regularly misclassify workers to save money. For example, your employer may classify you as exempt to avoid paying you overtime. But the law is independent of your employment agreement. As such, the law may still consider you non-exempt, even if your employer treats you as exempt. Instead, it simply means that your employer has misclassified you. Fortunately, the law provides remedies to victims of misclassification. Therefore, you should not assume that you are stuck with your classification even if you believe it is wrong. If you have question about how your employer has classified you, contact the Khadder Law Firm today for a free initial consultation. For more, follow us on Twitter and Instagram. And like us on Facebook....

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12 Dec What if I’m afraid of making the overtime claim because I might lose my job?

This is a legitimate concern that many employees have, and unfortunately, there is no perfect protection against an employee who seeks to enforce their rights to overtime and other pay laws. The good news is that California law prohibits retaliation against an employee who asserts their rights under the wage and hour laws. California labor code 1102.5 (see below) is a particularly powerful tool for going after employers that retaliate against you for asserting your rights under the labor code. There are other provisions in the labor code that also prohibit retaliation, and provide that the person can sue on those claims, but labor code section 1102.5 is the most commonly used. In addition, because Section 1102.5 falls within the California labor code, an employee may also be able to sue under the Private Attorney General Act and recover attorney’s fees for any retaliation that he or she experienced because they sue to enforce their rights to overtime pay. < California Labor Code 1102.5 > Labor Code - LAB DIVISION 2. EMPLOYMENT REGULATION AND SUPERVISION [200 - 2699.5]  ( Division 2 enacted by Stats. 1937, Ch. 90. ) PART 3. PRIVILEGES AND IMMUNITIES [920 - 1138.5]  ( Part 3 enacted by Stats. 1937, Ch. 90. ) CHAPTER 5. Political Affiliations [1101 - 1106]  ( Chapter 5 enacted by Stats. 1937, Ch. 90. ) 1102.5. (a) An employer, or any person acting on behalf of the employer, shall not make, adopt, or enforce any rule, regulation, or policy preventing an employee from disclosing information to a government or law enforcement agency, to a person with authority over the employee, or to another employee who has authority to investigate, discover, or correct the violation or noncompliance, or from providing information to, or testifying before, any public body conducting an investigation, hearing, or inquiry, if the employee has reasonable cause to believe that the information discloses a violation of state or federal statute, or a violation of or noncompliance with a local, state, or federal rule or regulation, regardless of whether disclosing the information is part of the employee’s job duties. (b) An employer, or any person acting on behalf of the employer, shall not retaliate against an employee for disclosing information, or because the employer believes that the employee disclosed or may disclose information, to a government or law enforcement agency, to a person with authority over the employee or another employee who has the authority to investigate, discover, or correct the violation or noncompliance, or for providing information to, or testifying before, any public body conducting an investigation, hearing, or inquiry, if the employee has reasonable cause to believe that the information discloses a violation of state or federal statute, or a violation of or noncompliance with a local, state, or federal rule or regulation, regardless of whether disclosing the information is part of the employee’s job duties. (c) An employer, or any person acting on behalf of the employer, shall not retaliate against an employee for refusing to participate in an activity that would result in a violation of state or federal statute, or a violation of or noncompliance with a local, state, or federal rule or regulation. (d) An employer, or any person acting on behalf of the employer, shall not retaliate against an employee for having exercised his or her rights under subdivision (a), (b), or (c) in any former employment. (e) A report made by an employee of a government agency to his or her employer is a disclosure of information to a government or law enforcement agency pursuant to subdivisions (a) and (b). (f) In addition to other penalties, an employer that is a corporation or limited liability company is liable for a civil penalty not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for each violation of this section. (g) This section does not apply to rules, regulations, or policies that implement, or to actions by employers against employees who violate, the confidentiality of the lawyer-client privilege of Article 3 (commencing with Section 950) of, or the physician-patient privilege of Article 6 (commencing with Section 990) of, Chapter 4 of Division 8 of the Evidence Code, or trade secret information. (h) An employer, or a person acting on behalf of the employer, shall not retaliate against an employee because the employee is a family member of a person who has, or is perceived to have, engaged in any acts protected by this section. (i) For purposes of this section, “employer” or “a person acting on behalf of the employer” includes, but is not limited to, a client employer as defined in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 2810.3 and an employer listed in subdivision (b) of Section 6400. (Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 792, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2016.) If your employer has retaliated against you for making an overtime claim, contact an employment lawyer today at the Khadder Law Firm for a free initial consultation....

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