California residents may be aware that Oakland increased the minimum wage in the city to $12.25 per hour on March 1. The decision was prompted by widespread public support and it followed similar moves in San Francisco and Seattle. Small business owners are among the most vocal opponents of increasing the minimum wage, and 223 Oakland entrepreneurs have answered questions from the Employment Policies Institute about how the $12.25 hourly rate has impacted their businesses.
As many Californians may know, there are times when employees are paid even though they are not actively working at their jobs. With diverse schedules becoming the norm, it may be worthwhile to learn when an employer is obligated to pay by federal law.
Wages can be a significant concern to those starting a new job, especially if there seems to be a discrepancy between the wage that is paid and the state laws. Workers in California are affected by both state and federal guidelines, and the more strict of the two laws applies in any given situation. This means that the law that provides more of a benefit to the employee is to be used.
In California, an $8.75-million agreement has been reached in the matter of more than 20,000 temporary workers who attested that Manpower Inc. did not pay them their wages in a timely manner. These employees also reported that they did not receive accurate wage statements from the company.
The Department of Industrial Relations in the state of California requires that employers grant employees one or more breaks throughout the day based on the amount of time an individual works. The state also dictates what employees can and cannot do during meal breaks.
On Dec. 17, the U.S. Department of Labor announced that dozens of caregivers in California would be paid a combined total of $637,048 for minimum and overtime back wages and liquidated damages. According to a federal investigation, the 24 Filipino workers received less than $5 an hour despite working 11-hour days, five or six days a week.
Los Angeles employees may want some information about the laws regarding sick leave that apply to them. Due to some recent laws, the government has provided for certain minimum amounts of sick time for nearly all California workers.
Employees generally have protected rights to receive the full amount of money they earned in their paychecks. However, some employers may attempt to deduct certain expenses or fees from employees' paychecks. It is illegal to do so unless the deductions fall within strictly defined legal parameters. Broadly speaking according to California wage and hour law, deductions are only allowed when state or federal law requires it, when the employee authorizes the employer in writing to cover insurance, welfare or pension costs, or when a collective bargaining agreement authorizes the employer to deduct for these costs.
According to the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement of the California Department of Industrial Relations, employees must be paid 50 percent more than their regular rate of pay for overtime work. Overtime is considered any hours in excess of eight in a single day, more than 40 hours in a week or the first eight hours on the seventh consecutive workday. Any time over eight hours on the seventh day or over 12 hours on any other day result in twice the amount of regular pay.
On Aug. 24, the Oakland Raiders and its cheerleading squad, the Raiderettes, came to an agreement on a wage dispute. The squad claims that the team violated California wage and hour law by failing to pay minimum wage during the four football seasons from 2010 to 2013. The Raiders will pay approximately $6,000 for each year cheerleaders worked from 2010 to 2012. The Raiderettes received a pay increase in 2013, but were still underpaid, so they will receive around $2,500 each for that season.