Years ago, the bosses held all the power. As time went on and workers gained strength, they began to fight for safer conditions, better pay, and benefits, until laws were on the books to protect workers. Over the years, the laws, rules, and regulations benefitting employees have increased and become more specific. Now, if you feel any of your rights were violated, there is an Employment Law Attorney in California available to help you seek the redress you deserve.
Employment law covers more than just your relationship with your current employer. As an Employment Law Attorney in California will tell you, there are employment laws on the books concerning the employment application process, the period you are actually employed, and the time after your employment has ceased.
Regarding the employment application process, for example, there are certain things prospective employers are not typically permitted to do. One of these is that it is now illegal for an employer to ask about any candidate’s criminal history until after an offer of employment is made. Nor may they consider arrest records, diversion programs, sealed records, certain marijuana offenses, or juvenile records when deciding on a candidate’s employment.
While you are employed, there are even laws regarding lunch breaks. Employees working more than five consecutive hours must be given a thirty-minute lunch break that is entirely without work. And if a worker is on the job for more than six consecutive hours, she may not waive this requirement.
When an employee works more than ten hours in a day, he must be afforded a second meal break of at least thirty minutes. Any employer that fails to comply with these rules may be required to give the employee additional payments at the regular rate of pay (or greater, in certain circumstances).
Front desk security guards, custodians, and janitors who may be required to remain on duty during what is supposed to be a meal break are typically entitled to have the employer pay for their meals. Further, even if the employer provides such a meal, the employee may be entitled to be paid for such a “working lunch.”
Following the cessation of employment, there are rules regarding severance pay, treatment of former employees, and the enforcement of any separation agreements. How and when an employee’s term of work ends is also governed by many laws. If an employer terminates an employee because of age, gender, race, or other factors, the employer may be subject to a discrimination claim. If an employer fails to offer a reasonable accommodation to a person suffering from a disability, they may be subject to a discrimination claim. If full payment was not made, or wages were paid under the minimum wage levels promulgated at that time, there may be claims under State law as well as under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.
As you can see, there are so many rules there to protect you, the employee. However, knowing all of these laws and prosecuting claims pursuant to them is impossible for a layperson. As such, be sure to retain an Employment Law Attorney in California to make sure you are fully protected.