Bartz Law Group

Employee Rights Advocates

6 Rights You Probably Didn’t Know You Have As An Employee

6 Rights You Probably Didn’t Know You Have As An Employee

California labor law has many employee rights that allow workers to work in safe and privileged work environments. Unfortunately, employees do not know some of those rights and laws because they’re never included in employee handbooks.

All employee rights in California labor law have one purpose, to protect employees from all manner of exploitation and abuse by employers and managers. In other words, California employees should understand their rights to know when they’re being exploited, manipulated, or violated.

Top 6 Rights for Employees in California

Minimum Wage Pay

Employers are required to pay their workers a minimum wage for at least 3 hours of their work shifts, regardless of the working hours. For instance, an employee is entitled to $10.20 x 3 hours = $30.60 if they go home earlier than usual because there is no work.

Employees have the right to turn down any work that may risk their life or health and that of their co-workers, per the Occupational Safety and Health Administration Laws. The law prohibits employers from paying their workers lower than the minimum wage, even if an employee consents to such an arrangement. If a person works for more than 8 hours in a workday, they should receive overtime pay.

Salary Deduction for Workplace Mistakes

Most people are conditioned to believe that their salaries should be deducted for minor mistakes at the workplace, such as broken items or shortages of cash (for cashiers). The truth is that your salary shouldn’t be deducted because of a small and innocent mistake, especially if another person can be blamed for the same mistake.

Paid Annual Leave or Annual Vacation

Did you know you’re entitled to an annual vacation if you work for the same organization for 12 consecutive months? This should be the case as per California’s Labor Law.

Workplace Safety

Employers are responsible for the safety of employees in the workplace, meaning they should ensure appropriate safety equipment is provided to employees and they are trained on how to use such equipment when necessary to avoid workplace injuries. Safety equipment can include:

  • Gloves;
  • Goggles;
  • Mask to prevent breathing hazards; and
  • Safety boots and clothes, and more.

Discrimination-Free Work Environments

The workplace should be free from any form of discrimination and harassment. Employees must be treated fairly and justly, regardless of their race, origin, gender, nationality, social & marital status, and sexual orientation.

Employees with Special Needs

California Labor Law requires employers to make the necessary adjustments at the workplace to accommodate employees with special needs, such as victims of mental illnesses or physical disabilities.

Federal Regulations Ensuring Employee Rights

The federal regulations that protect the rights of employees include:

  1. Title VII of the Non-discrimination Act prohibits discrimination in the hiring process based on the protected characteristics of employment.
  2. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  3. Age Discrimination in Employment Act
  4. Fair Labor Standards Act:
  5. Family and Medical Leave Act:

California employees should know that the law protects them. Additionally, you can file legal action against your employer for exploitation and discrimination.