Confusion over issues such as overtime pay sometimes leads to actions by California employers that violate the Fair Labor Standards Act. Situations may be further complicated when workers perform on-call duties beyond their normal work hours. In one case involving this issue, a nurse working at a health center claimed she was due unpaid OT pay for working weekends on call. She was paid her standard pay rate for working her required on-call weekend hours. However, she contends she was not paid for what she considered overtime during the weekends when she was on call.
Workers in California have strong protections as part of state law, especially in regard to wage and hour issues. However, a law was signed into effect in September 2018 that affects the rest break requirements for certain safety-sensitive workers at petroleum facilities. Assembly Bill 2605 applies to unionized employees and exempts them from the requirement that they must have no duties at all during their rest periods. The law went into effect when signed and could be renewed in 2021 upon its expiration.
The legal rights of workers vary based on a number of different factors. For example, hourly workers receive different protections than salaried workers. Similarly, direct employees receive certain protections that do not apply to workers classified as independent contractors.
Employees in California and in other states get to wake up one hour later when Daylight Savings Time ends. Many people are skeptical about the benefit of changing the clocks considering it does not actually increase the number of hours of daylight. Employers must pay attention not to violate wage and hour laws when the clock rolls back.
In California, some workers who are classified as independent contractors may be able to bring wage and hour claims if they are able to show that the hiring company was really more akin to an employer than a contracting partner. A recent decision in California affirmed an earlier ruling, finding that the independent contractor determination "test" applies only to certain wage and hour claims.