July 18, 2019

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California Employment Law

Sacramento Employment Law Firms

Both state and federal labor laws apply in California. The state of California is very favorable toward workers, and provides protections for them beyond what is provided by federal labor laws. Employees need to understand their rights under the law, and what they can do if their rights are violated. Employers also need to know how to avoid violations.

Read below to learn more about California Employment Law.

California Employment Law Issues

Some of the basic issues covered by California employment law include:

  • Wage and hour
  • Overtime
  • Discrimination
  • Wrongful termination
  • Harassment
  • Whistleblowing
  • Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
  • Worker’s Compensation
  • Unemployment
  • Meal and rest breaks
  • Children in the entertainment industry


Sexual harassment is not the only form of harassment which is prohibited in the workplace. Harassment due to gender, race, sexual orientation, or any other reason which it is illegal to discriminate against someone is also prohibited. In order for you to have a claim, the harassment must be significant, not a minor, isolated incident. You must be able to establish that the harassment has created a hostile work environment or has led to negative action against you such as being fired or demoted.

Perpetrators of harassment may include:

  • Employer
  • Supervisor
  • Co-worker
  • Customer, client, or other non-employee

Wage and Hour

Wage and hour issues include:

  • Minimum wage
  • Unpaid wages
  • Off-the-clock work
  • Overtime
  • Breaks and mealtimes
  • Vacation pay
  • Work-related expenses

California’s minimum wage is $8.00 per hour. Non-exempt workers must be paid overtime, which is time and a half for working more than 40 hours in a five day workweek.

California employers are not allowed to require you to work “off-the-clock”, and are not even allowed to permit you to do so voluntarily. Your employer must pay you for all hours worked. Employers often pressure or require employees to work off-the-clock to keep their hours down so that they do not have to pay overtime rates. “Hours worked” includes any time you are under your employer’s control, even if you are just waiting around and not performing any work duties.

If you are fired, your employer must pay you all of the wages you are owed on the day you are fired. If you quit your job, you must be paid within 72 hours in most cases, and even sooner if you gave advance notice.

Children in the Entertainment Industry

Obviously, children can work in the entertainment industry in California. There are strict regulations as to how many hours they can work, depending on their age and how much school they can miss, and they must have a work permit.