With some of the strongest labor laws in the country, California has a reputation for being an excellent place to work. For the more than 18 million employees
in the state, these laws are housed in the California Labor Code. This code is designed to protect the rights of employees and ensure fair treatment in the workplace.
Unfortunately, many employers violate these laws, either knowingly or unknowingly, leading to various forms of mistreatment. These violations can have serious consequences for workers, ranging from financial hardship to physical and emotional harm. If you believe your employer has violated California Labor Code
, it is important to take action to protect your rights and hold your employer accountable.
Contact Maison Law Today For Help
If you believe your employer has violated your rights under the California Labor Code, it’s important to seek legal advice as soon as possible. At Maison Law, our team of knowledgeable employment lawyers
can help you understand your rights and options for pursuing a claim against your employer. Don’t let your employer get away with violating the law and taking advantage of you. Contact us
today for a free, no-obligation consultation to learn how you can get the fair treatment you deserve.
Types of California Labor Code Violations
With its stated purpose of protecting workers’ rights and setting standards for fair and just working conditions, the California Labor Code (CLC) is the set of laws and statutes that is designed to achieve this. While there are certain limitations–these laws apply only to hourly (non-exempt) employees, not contractors or other non-hourly workers–the CLC is designed to standardize these laws across California’s multitude of different workplaces. Generally, violations of the labor code include the following:
- Wage and hour violations -These violations include not paying employees the minimum wage, not providing overtime pay, failing to provide meal and rest breaks, and not reimbursing employees for necessary job-related expenses.
- Discrimination and harassment – Employers may be in violation of the labor code if they discriminate or harass employees based on characteristics such as race, gender, sexual orientation, age, or disability. This can include failing to hire, promote or pay employees equally, as well as creating a hostile work environment.
- Unsafe working conditions – Employers have a responsibility to provide safe working conditions for their employees. This includes providing safety equipment and training, addressing hazards promptly, and creating a safe work environment. Employers may be in violation of the labor code if they fail to meet these requirements and put employees at risk.
- Retaliation – Employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees who report labor code violations or participate in investigations related to labor code violations. Retaliation can include being fired, demoted, or other forms of punishment.
- Misclassification of employees – Employers may attempt to misclassify employees as independent contractors to avoid providing them with benefits and protections under labor law. Misclassification can include denying employees overtime pay, failing to provide workers’ compensation insurance, and denying meal and rest breaks.
While these are among the most common forms of labor code violations, there is any number of different actions your employer can take that can constitute a violation of the labor code. However, the usual result of these is serious consequences for you and other employees.
What Do Labor Code Violations Mean For California Employees?
Anytime your rights are violated in the workplace, it’s a huge betrayal of the agreement you have with your employer. Ideally, the employee-employer relationship is built on trust. You trust that your employer will give you a stimulating and safe work environment in exchange for you providing labor and productivity. However, labor code violations can have significant consequences for you and any other California employee that impacts your financial, emotional, and physical well-being. These consequences can vary but usually include:
- Financial hardship – When an employer fails to pay an employee the appropriate wages or overtime they are entitled to under California law, it can lead to financial hardship for the employee. This can make it difficult for them to meet their basic needs and pay bills, leading to stress and anxiety.
- Emotional turmoil – Employees who experience discrimination, harassment, or realiation based on their race, gender, age, sexual orientation, or disability can suffer emotional distress and damage to their self-esteem. It can also create a hostile work environment, making it difficult for them to perform their job duties effectively.
- Lack of safety – When an employer fails to provide a safe work environment, employees may be at risk of injury or illness. This can cause physical harm, leading to medical bills, lost wages, and long-term health consequences.
As you can see, labor code violations can have severe consequences for you as an employee. Whether it be impacting your financial stability, emotional well-being, or physical health, you will likely feel the impact of these violations in many ways. That’s why it’s important to not only understand how the code works, but what recourse you have when your rights are violated in the workplace.
What Recourse Do You Have For Violations of the California Labor Code?
As part of its overall protections for you and other California workers, the labor code gives you the ability to take action against your employer when they violate it. This can be done in a variety of ways and usually depends on the section of the code that was violated. At this point, it’s important to understand how the law works, so consulting with our team of experienced California employment lawyers can provide you with this knowledge, as well as guidance on what to do next.
Generally speaking, the legal options that you have when your employer violates the labor code include the following:
- Engage in protected activity – Employees have the right to engage in protected concerted activity, such as discussing working conditions or pay with co-workers or forming a union. Once you engage in the protected activity, your employer is barred from retaliating against you.
- Contact government agencies – To report any violation of the labor code–like when your employer has violated workplace safety laws or engaged in discrimination or harassment–you can contact other government agencies, such as the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA), the Labor Commissioner’s Office, or the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH).
- File an administrative complaint – Once you have sufficient reason and evidence of the violation, you can file a complaint with the Labor Commissioner’s Office or the DFEH, both of which enforce labor laws in California. They can investigate the complaint and may be able to recover unpaid wages, penalties, and other remedies on your behalf.
Filing a lawsuit
Once you take the above steps, you may then proceed to file a lawsuit against your employer for damages. It’s important to remember that this can be a complex and challenging process, but with our team on your side, we can make the process much simpler. The first step is filing the Complaint in civil court. With that, your claim for damages is initiated. While every case is different, the litigation process can be lengthy, so it’s important to be patient. The ultimate goal of a lawsuit is to recover damages, which can include:
- Lost wages or benefits
- Emotional distress
- Loss of dignity
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Punitive damages, in some cases
What you’re eventually able to recover depends on the facts and circumstances around your case. However, with our team guiding you through the process, you can be assured that your claim remains as strong as possible throughout the process and you’ll receive a fair amount of the benefits and support available to you.
Victims of California Labor Code Violations Can Trust Maison Law
Whenever your workplace rights are violated in California, you can trust that Maison Law will be there to support you. Our team of experienced, dedicated employment lawyers can guide you through the process of recovering damages and make sure you have the support and validation you need to see the claim through. Standing up to your employer takes courage, but we will be there with you every step of the way. To get started, contact us
today for a free, no-obligation consultation.