For many years, employees who were not compensated correctly for their work had trouble getting judgments from their employers. In an attempt to remedy this situation, lawmakers in California passed the Fair Day's Pay Act. The law imposed personal liability for specific wage and hour violations committed by owners, directors, officers, and other people in management within a company. This means that any acting agent of a business who is proven to violate wage and hour laws could be personally liable.
Some employees in California might wonder how salary legally differs from overtime. Salary is financial compensation that an employee is paid regularly; it does not fluctuate. In contrast, overtime is paid to hourly employees when they work more than a certain number of hours or days.
Independent contractors have become more common than ever, in large part because of the rise of the Internet. It makes it possible for a lot of jobs that used to get done in a traditional office setting to get done anywhere in the world. As such, employers work with people regardless of location and don't always need to hire them to officially join the company.
The minimum wage is going to increase in California starting on Jan. 1, 2019. On that date, employers that have 26 or more employees will be required to pay workers no less than $12 per hour. Smaller companies will be required to pay workers at least $11 per hour. Eventually, the minimum wage in the state will rise to $15 per hour. Large companies will need to reach that threshold by 2022.
Uber drivers in California and Massachusetts were initially awarded $100 million in a 2016 settlement with the company. The claim asked that drivers be classified as employees as opposed to independent contractors. While it was thrown out by a federal court, drivers in New York were given unemployment benefits when it was determined that they were employees. Although incidents involving Uber may have gotten the most attention, it is not the only company that incorrectly classifies its workers.
Employees residing in California should be aware of examples of wage and hour disputes, which are especially common around Christmas. The push to get holiday shopping done in time results in employers pushing retail workers harder than ever to meet demand. Employees who complain or refuse to comply with their packed schedules may face retaliation. This leaves many employees feeling hopeless and choosing to not put up a fight, afraid their hours will be cut in response to their complaints. Some employees are even fired.