Understanding Employment Law in California Just Got Critical

Statistically speaking, California boasts the world’s 8th largest economy. In a recession, knowledge of employment law is even more critical.

California isn’t alone in struggling with the nasty side effects of a recession. Economic pundits are now weighing in with even more dismal news – expect unemployment figures to shoot up to 10% and higher through late 2011. Who knows, that might not even be correct in terms of the end of the recession. A distinctly dismal thought.

We all know that a paying job in today’s market economy is critical, and so is understanding employment law, just ask a Sacramento employment lawyer. This isn’t an option, it’s a must. Did you know that California’s workers’ compensation system covers 15,256,000 workers for over 800,000 employers? Think about that for a minute. These people generated a gross domestic product of $1.8 “trillion” in just 2007. Along with that statistic was the additional information that 644,700 occupational illnesses and injuries were put on report, and at a minimum, there were about 229,871 compensation hearings.

With the understanding that people need a paycheck, we look at what some employers have been doing lately. They have intentionally or unintentionally neglected or refused to pay their workers. This isn’t because they don’t owe them money or their contracts are invalid. They owe them fair and square for work, provided under California law. As a Sacramento employment lawyer, I’ve heard my fair share of horror stories.

Consider this: a $17.5 million lawsuit filed by the California Labor Commission against, of all places, the Federal Loan Modification Law Center, because they hadn’t paid their workers for all the hours they worked. Not about to stop when they were on a roll, the same Commission also filed a $250,000 lawsuit against an online health care company for – you guessed it – not paying staff wages. The basis of the Commissions case winning argument was that “not” paying their workers caused undue hardship on those relying on them to feed their families.

Unfortunately, there are a great number of employers who go out of their way to not pay their workers just so they can maximize their profits. They don’t care that worker’s families are struggling to make ends meet. What these employers count on is that their workers have no clue about employment law and are afraid to confront their employers. Know your rights, not just for yourself, but for your family. And if you don’t know them, call a Sacramento employment lawyer and find out what you need to know.

For instance, not a lot of workers know that they are entitled to wages if they’re forced to work through or miss a break or meal. They also don’t have a clue that companies can’t deduct, withhold or subtract the cost of doing business from a worker’s wages. Put another way, if you have to wear a uniform because your company insists on it, you do not have to pay for and maintain it. One other area where people come up short is calculating wages due for overtime.

As you can see, if you work in California, there’s a lot to know about employment law. Do you know it?

Deborah Barron is a Sacramento business lawyer, Sacramento employment lawyer, and Sacramento personal injury lawyer in California. To learn more, visit www.lawbarron.com.

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