California has stringent laws in place to protect employees. These regulations are stricter than federal laws, so it’s crucial that you understand them and comply. California’s labor laws ensure employees are treated fairly and help you foster a happy, healthy workplace.

Employees in California benefit from higher wages, required breaks, anti-discrimination, and harassment regulations, time off, privacy, and much more. Here is a list of California Labor Laws that every business owner should know.

Wage and Payment Terms

  1. The minimum wage in California is $12.00 an hour and will continue to increase, reaching $15/hour by 2020.
  2. It is illegal to ask employees to work off the clock.
  3. Any time worked over 8 hours in one day, 40 hours in a week, or the 7th consecutive day at work must be paid as overtime, which is 1.5 x the employee’s standard pay.
  4. Any time worked over 12 hours in one day or over 8 hours on the 7th consecutive day at work must be paid at double time, 2 x the employee’s regular pay.
  5. Employees must be paid at least every two weeks, and the paycheck must arrive within 11 days of the payday.
  6. You must give your employees their pay-stubs. If you don’t, they can recover up to $4,000.
  7. You are not required to pay your employees double time on holidays.
  8. If employees who typically work 8-hour shifts are sent home early or required to check in, they must be compensated for at least four hours.
  9. Exempt employees do not require overtime pay. Employees are considered exempt if they are paid a salary of at least two times the minimum wage, and their work is primarily intellectual.

Time off and Breaks

  1. Offering paid time off is not required, but if given, employees must be allowed to cash out unused vacation days when they leave.
  2. You are not required to give your employees holidays off.
  3. Vacation days never expire
  4. You must provide proper meal and rest breaks to your employees. This is classified as a paid rest break for every 4 hours worked and an unpaid meal break for every 5 hours worked.
  5. All employees who work for at least 30 days within a year they are hired must be provided with paid sick leave or another type of paid leave that may be used for sick leave.

Layoffs and Terminations

  1. In the event of termination, employees must be paid their final paycheck on the same day they are terminated.
  2. If an employee quits, you have 72 hours to get them their final check.
  3. If you lay off 50 or more workers in one month, or close down a location, you must provide either 60 days’ notice, or two months’ pay and benefits.

Sexual Harassment and Discrimination

  1. Visual conduct, verbal conduct, physical conduct, and offering employment benefits or making employment threats based on the response to sexual advances are all considered sexual harassment.
  2. Starting in January 2020, all employers with five or more employees must provide sexual harassment training to their employees within six months of hire.
  3. Supervisors must receive two hours of sexual harassment training, and nonsupervisory employees require at least one hour of education.

This list introduces California labor laws so you can begin to gain a basic understanding of what is required. It is not a complete list, but it provides you with things to consider as you hire new employees for your business.

Posted 9:13 AM

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