In 2020, 11 new employment laws were set to take effect in California. On the first day of the year, the state’s minimum wage was set at $13 per hour for companies that have 26 or more employees. Companies with 25 or fewer employees are required to pay their workers at least $12 per hour. Effective July 1, Oakland, San Diego and San Jose will have minimum wages that are higher than the one imposed by the state.
Employers that fail to pay the prevailing minimum wage can be assessed penalties of up to $200 and 25% of the wages that employees are owed. The same penalties may apply for those who do not pay their workers in a timely manner. Another proposed law would limit the use of mandatory arbitration clauses in employment contracts. However, the legislation is currently being challenged as it may violate the Federal Arbitration Act.
Prior to 2020, employees who wanted to report discrimination in the workplace had only a year to do so. However, a change to the statute of limitations regarding discrimination claims means that workers have up to three years to do so. State law has also been changed to require workers to receive one hour of sexual harassment training by the first day of 2021. Furthermore, managers and other supervisors must receive two hours of training by the first day of 2021.
Individuals who believe that they have been the victim of employment law violations may want to take action against their employers. It may be possible to receive back pay or other relief from a jury or through a negotiated settlement. A legal representative may be able to review a worker’s claim to determine the best way to help that person obtain a favorable outcome.