When you leave school and begin working for others in California or other states, you aren’t alone. You have certain rights as an employee. These rights are mandated by federal and state laws. Reap the benefits of proper treatment during your employment by fully understanding your employee rights.
You Have the Right to Earn Minimum Wage
There is an actual law that makes sure you aren’t paid less than a certain amount per hour. That amount is called minimum wage, and it changes as the economy changes. To find out what the current minimum wage is, check out the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). If you work in California, you might find it interesting to look at California minimum wage rates and history.
So what do you do if you feel you are underpaid? You can file a complaint. To find out where to file your complaint, go to the Wage and Hour Division office website then select your state. If you don’t have regular Internet access, you might call the program’s toll-free help line at 1-866-4USWAGE (1-866-487-9243). If you are concerned about losing your job after filing, remember that it’s illegal for an employer to discriminate against an employee for filing a minimum wage complaint.
You Have the Right to Earn Holiday and Overtime Pay
Knowing your rights in regards to minimum wage is great, but it’s also important to understand your rights when it comes to overtime. Sometimes an employer might ask you to put in more hours than you signed on for. This cuts into your private life. To compensate for this, the Labor Code dictates that you get paid one and one half times minimum wage if you work:
- More than eight hours in one workday
- Over 40 hours during a workweek
- And if you work more than eight hours on a seventh consecutive day during a workweek
The exception to this ruling is when employees contract to work an alternative workweek. The ruling also does not factor in commuting time.
You Have Rights in the Workplace
When you work, you should have the freedom to concentrate on the task-at-hand. You have the right to work without harassment. Laws protect your right to work without harassment in the following areas: sexual harassment, gender discrimination, age harassment and race harassment.
If you, as an employee, feel that your rights have been infringed upon in any way, consider contacting a California Employment Law Attorney or other legal help. Laws are in place to protect you.