Several bills could affect California employees

Employment law is constantly changing, creating a dynamic employment landscape that is constantly adapting and evolving. This can sometimes make it difficult for both employees and employers who may be caught off-guard by new laws that may affect their everyday operations.

It can be useful for these employees - and the businesses that employ them - to keep an eye on the California state legislature for proposed bills that could change the state's employment laws. Currently, there are several such bills making their way through the legislature. The state's lawmakers are considering bills that would raise the state's minimum wage and encourage the resolution of wage and hours disputes.

One bill would provide employers with an incentive to resolve wage and hour claims. Currently, an employer who fails to pay an employee all of the wages they are owed may incur "waiting time penalties." That penalty equals an employee's regular daily wages for each day the employer fails to pay the wages owed.

The proposed legislation would allow the labor commission to waive those penalties against employers if it is their first wage and hour dispute and the claim is resolved within 30 days.

Another wage issue that could be addressed this legislative session is the state's minimum wage. A proposed bill would raise it to $8.25 at the beginning of 2014, to at least $8.75 in 2015 and at least $9.25 in 2016.

Next week we'll discuss several more employment law bills being considered in the state and how they could affect the state's workers.

Source: The Monterey Herald, "New bills affecting California labor law," Sara Boyns, March 21, 2013

To learn more about employee rights in California, please visit our website.

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