This week, as we consider the many things we are thankful for, consider the service and sacrifice by members of our community who are called to be jurors in our civil justice system. Our system only functions with the willingness of the citizen-juror to sit and listen to facts and render impartial judgment. Without the willing juror, the system does not work.
In January, 2012 California employees will have new protections against wage theft. California lawmakers have enacted new laws to protect workers against employers who cheat their employees. In a new law entitled “the Wage Theft Prevention Act of 2011” the Labor Code was amended to require employers to furnish to non-exempt employees, at the time of hiring, a notice specifying the employee’s rate or rates of pay and the basis on which the employee’s wages are to be calculated, e.g. hourly, daily, piece, salary, commission or by some other method.
To avoid overtime, taxes, and insurance obligations, unscrupulous employers are known to misclassify their employees as “independent contractors.” The practice is illegal. Misclassification hurts not only the worker, but requires legitimate California businesses to carry the tax and workers compensation burden of cheating employers. California is strengthening its laws to combat misclassification and the “underground” economy.
The State of California has modernized and increased penalties that may be assessed against contractors who violate wage and hour laws on public works. The State has passed a new law, signed by Governor Jerry Brown, increasing the penalties against contractors who violate California’s Prevailing Wage Law.
Wrongful termination is a popular topic when so many workers are losing their jobs, forced to look for new work and having to change careers. Under “at-will” employment laws, it is within the rights of both the employee and employer to terminate employment at any time without cause. However, there are exceptions to these employment laws and if your termination violated one of these exceptions the termination may be “wrongful” and compensable under the law.
While contractors often use creative ways to calculate the proper prevailing wage rates for public work projects, California law is clear. Calculation of wages due is covered by Labor Code §1774 which requires payment of not less than the “specified prevailing rates of wages” for all hours worked. The specified […]