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California Legal News

Who Benefits from New Employment Laws?

Posted by Eric Kingsley | Jan 22, 2014 | 0 Comments

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Numerous employee classes and vulnerable workers benefit from California laws taking effect in 2014.  As first reported by FOX 11 – Los Angeles, CA, low-income workers, immigrants in the country illegally, domestic caregivers and farm laborers will benefit from bills lawmakers passed in 2013. Many of the new laws took effect January 1, 2014 while others will take effect on July 1.

In 2013, the Democratic leaders of the Assembly and Senate stated one of their goals was to assist workers still reeling from the recession. Furthermore, Steve Smith, a spokesman for the California Labor Federation, called 2013 “a banner year for workers” in the state and said the benefits of the legislation would be felt immediately. “California has really established itself as a national leader in terms of protecting the rights of workers, and that's exactly where we should be, in our view,” he said.

Minimum Wage

In the most far-reaching move, minimum-wage earners will be paid $9 an hour starting July 1, the first of two dollar-an-hour boosts that will push the base wage to $10 by 2016, giving the state one of the nation's highest rates.

The California Chamber of Commerce opposed the minimum wage increase, which it warned will drive up costs for all businesses and consumers. Other laws affecting workers add to the cumulative impact on employers, the chamber said.

“We already have some of the most onerous labor laws in the country,” said Jennifer Barrera, a labor policy advocate with the chamber. “When you add the new laws, we are concerned about the increased burden on employers.”

Domestic Workers

Domestic workers now must be paid time-and-a-half if they work more than nine hours in a day or more than 45 hours in a week, although baby sitters are exempt from the mandate. California follows Hawaii and New York in offering certain protections to in-home caregivers. Another law requires that workers in industries such as agriculture and landscaping get rest breaks during hot weather.

Victims of Domestic Violence

Other new laws add job protections for victims of domestic violence and other crimes. Employers cannot fire an employee who has been a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking, nor can they dismiss a worker who is the victim of certain crimes and takes time off for a court hearing.

Confused about these new California employment laws?

Don't hesitate to contact leading California employment lawyers from Kingsley & Kingsley.  Take advantage of a free initial consultation to discuss your specific case by calling us toll-free at (888) 500-8469 or clicking here to contact us regarding your case.

About the Author

Eric Kingsley

In practice since 1996, the firm's lawyer and co-founder, Eric B. Kingsley, has litigated complex cases and written numerous appeals in state and federal courts on behalf of the California law firm Kingsley & Kingsley, including More than 150 collective actions. Mr. Kingsley focuses his practice ...

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