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October 2018 Archives

DOL delays rules for overtime exemptions and joint employment

Employers in California will remain in limbo as the U.S. Department of Labor continues to delay decisions about overtime exemptions and joint employment. The agency recently announced that it will not publish proposed new regulations about overtime exemptions until March 2019.

Employers should taker a stand against customers who harass staff

Workplace sexual harassment materializes differently across industries. In technology, it might look like coworkers making fun of another employee's sexual preferences or experience. In an office, it could include a manager or boss who exchanges favors for flirtation (or more). For service workers, sexual harassment often involves customers instead of other employees.

Amazon workers in California warehouse get a raise

Workers at Amazon warehouses in California will see their hourly wage raised to $15 per hour, and the prediction is that this will put pressure on other area warehouses to do the same. There is also expected to be a surge of better business for supermarkets and other local businesses since the wage increase translates to about $2 more for workers.

The process of reporting wage violations

Many California employees are covered by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. This requires that they be paid at least the federal minimum wage and be paid an overtime wage. The overtime wage begins after an employee has worked 40 hours in a given workweek. If companies do not pay at least the prevailing minimum wage or provide overtime pay, they may have committed wage theft.

When to compensate workers for sending emails

According to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), California workers and others who send emails or take phone calls after hours must generally be paid for the time worked. This is true even if the employer prohibits the performing of those or similar tasks during evenings or weekends. As long as the employer has a constructive knowledge of the work being done, workers must be compensated for those tasks.

Farmworkers' lawsuit challenges "voluntary" company transport

Many agricultural workers in California are strongly encouraged to travel to and from their jobs in company-provided buses. While the use of the buses is nominally voluntary, a number of farm workers have filed lawsuits seeking travel pay for their time on the vehicles. According to the workers' lawyers from California Rural Legal Assistance, employees are actually required to use these company buses to reach the fields. Under a 2000 ruling of the state Supreme Court, farm workers must be paid for their travel time to the worksite on mandatory company buses.