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What are my rights as a California employee?

All employees in the United States are protected by certain laws. However, some employees suffer because they are mistreated by their employers, and they are unaware of their rights.

This is why it is so important that you make sure that you know your rights as an employee in California. By understanding what your rights are, you will be able to take legal action when the actions of your employer fall short of their legal obligations. The following is an overview of the most basic rights of employees.

Do California employers have to practice affirmative action?

In 1995, California voters voted against Proposition 209. Had voters passed that legislation, it would have resulted in a state constitutional amendment allowing for affirmative action policies to be instituted in the public contracting, education and employment sectors throughout the state. While this legislation didn't get signed into law, some California employers are required to uphold federal affirmative action policies.

Some California employers are subject to Executive Order 11246. This includes three pieces of federal legislation including the Jobs for Veterans Act, the Vietnam-Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Los Angeles County employers covered by these pieces of legislation are required to have documented affirmative action plans in place.

Grocery store workers may face injuries on the job

You've worked at the local grocer for a long time, but over time you've noticed a change in how much you can work without pain. You constantly have to worry about weakness and strain in your neck and shoulders now. You think it's from your job, so what should you do?


Electrocution: A risk to outdoor workers

Stormy weather poses a serious threat to outdoor workers. Did you know that lightning kills an average of 54 people every year? Any time you see a storm in the distance, there's a chance that you could be struck, too.  With the onset of the spring storm season, it's a good time to review some things about lightning. 

Are you entitled to overtime here in California?

While it may be exhausting to think about, most individuals look forward to those busy times on the job in which they may be asked to work more than 40 hours in a week. Workers are often excited about the prospect of being asked to stay on to put in more than full-time hours because they know that it generally means that they'll get 1.5 times or more than their regular pay. This isn't the case for everyone though. This is why you must learn what your rights to overtime are.

California law is written to allow most minors that are either 16 or 17-years-old who aren't attending school and haven't been barred from becoming legally employed an opportunity to earn overtime pay. Anyone age 18 or older may also qualify for this pay incentive provided that they're classified as a nonexempt employee.

Workers that are most apt to develop repetitive stress injuries

Data compiled by the Pain Relief Institute (PRI) shows that as many as 60-75% of workplace injuries that are reported each year are repetitive stress injuries. Those same statistics show that one in eight workers have this type of injury and that nearly all those who have surpassed retirement age have them.

This type of debilitating, work-related injury impacts individuals in many different fields of work.

Could workplace discrimination decline in 2020?

Unfortunately, workplace discrimination is something that is not likely to ever disappear entirely. It has always been an issue in the United States and even the laws that make it illegal have not eradicated it. You can still find discrimination in workplaces all over California and the rest of the country.

That said, some have predicted that businesses will put an emphasis on inclusion in 2020 and that discrimination could decline. They note that the political landscape has been the opposite in recent years, so they expected to see businesses discriminate more, but they have curiously noticed them doing the opposite. They noted that it was almost as if they were attempting to "protect themselves" from what was happening outside of the company.

A Long Beach man contends he was fired because he's white

A 47-year-old Long Beach man broke down on the stand as he testified at a wrongful termination trial against his former employer, the United Parcel Service (UPS), last week. The man's bosses previously argued that the reason that he was fired from his dock supervisor role in 2017 was because he used profanity twice within 11 months on the job. The plaintiff himself contends that he was let go for being white instead of Hispanic.

The man recounted how he'd come to work for UPS over 12 years ago when he took the stand. He noted that his primary responsibility was to watch over all of the Los Angeles County freight drivers. He noted that many of those UPS employees used profanity. One of them reported him for using curse words in 2017.

The workers' compensation timeline in California

If you have been injured while at work in California, it is likely that you will have the right to file for workers' compensation. This is true regardless of whether you are a United States citizen. In the vast majority of cases, undocumented immigrants who are injured in the workplace still have the right to file for damages.

If you have suffered damages such as lost wages, medical bills and you have gone through significant pain as a result of your work injury, you may be wondering how you can take action to successfully claim workers' compensation. The following is a general overview of the workers' compensation timeline in California.

What is more dangerous about some professions over others?

A USA Today investigation last year revealed that 5,147 workers died accidentally on the job in 2017. One of the leading causes of those deaths is accidental drug overdoses. This isn't the only reason for worker deaths though.

National Safety Council (NSC) data shows that the three most common causes of workplace deaths are long-distance driving, close contact with heavy machinery and working at significant heights.

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