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.
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.
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.
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.
On Sept. 17, the California Department of Industrial Relations announced that employees of a residential-based care business will receive compensation for violations related to wage and overtime. The settlement totaled $450,000 for 15 employees. There were also claims of meal violations, and $89,000 related to that remains in dispute.
According to a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of a group of California nurses, the health care system Dignity Health did not pay overtime pay to nurses working shifts longer than 12 hours. The lawsuit says more than 1,000 nurses were affected by the policy.
Workers in California and throughout America have been trying to make $15 per hour the new national minimum wage for several years. While that hasn't occurred yet, workers at Walt Disney World are going to receive that wage by 2021. That was the result of talks between the company and the Service Trades Council Union (STCU). In addition to a $15 per hour wage, employees are expected to receive a $1,000 bonus promised to them earlier in 2018.
With the rise of the "gig economy," which now encompasses more than 16.5 million Americans throughout California and across the country, many questions have been raised about the way in which workers are designated as independent contractors. Higher education has always relied significantly on contracted workers, such as adjunct professors who often teach full-time schedules but receive limited compensation, benefits or job security.
Movie theater employees in California are moving forward with a class-action lawsuit against cinema chain Cinemark, alleging that the company failed to comply with state law that requires overtime pay rates to be made explicit on pay stubs. Across the state, there are at least 843 people eligible to become part of the lawsuit, said lawyers working on the case. Their statements were based on Cinemark's disclosures in the case about the number of incorrect statements issued to workers. On August 16, a federal judge agreed to certify the class-action lawsuit, requiring the theater company to provide the names and contact details for workers who could have received incorrect pay stubs.
The Equal Pay Act was signed into law in 1963, and it was designed to make sure that workers in California and around the country were paid the same for doing equal work. However, a wage gap still exists in 2018. The extent of the gap depends on factors such as a worker's gender and ethnicity. Women generally have to wait until April 10 to get the same pay that a man made in the previous year.