Every year, employers scramble to keep up with the many federal and state labor laws that are continually put in place or revised. While California and federal employment laws often duplicate one another, California is one of the more aggressive and progressive states, making an employer’s compliance often more daunting. Add to that the fact that California is one of the most litigious states makes being an employer a difficult task at times.

At Katz Business Law, I work with employers to help them understand and comply with necessary legal requirements in order to avoid needless employee claims and lawsuits against your business, whatever its size or nature. Should a claim arise, I have the experience and resources to prepare a strategic and skilled defense. I proudly represent employers in Granite Bay, and the surrounding area including Folsom, Roseville, Rocklin, and Auburn, California.

Wage and Hour Laws Governing Your Business

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938 governs hours worked and wages paid. It set the workweek at 40 hours, established an hourly minimum wage, and implemented overtime wages for hours worked past 40, calling for one-and-a-half times normal hourly wages. However, it also allowed exemptions for various classes of salaried employees. The federal Department of Labor (DOL) was subsequently charged with implementing and regulating the FLSA.

The FLSA also allows states to go beyond federal standards. For instance, the federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 an hour, but in California, the state plus many counties and municipalities all have established much higher minimum wages, ranging up to $15 an hour and more. California also requires that overtime be paid when an employee works more than eight hours in a single day.

The DOL and its state equivalents also regulate child labor — at what age a child can work, for how many hours, and in which occupations. It prohibits youth employment in jobs considered too hazardous.



How Safety on the Job Is Regulated

Before the enactment of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) in 1970, the regulation of workplace safety fell largely to states and localities, but the new Act began establishing regulations and standards that must be followed universally nationwide. Accordingly, the federal Occupational Safety Health Administration (OSHA) was established to assure adherence to the new standards.

The OSH Act governs not only specific safety issues — mandating training, recordkeeping, and administrative standards – but its “general duty clause” states that each employer "shall furnish . . . a place of employment which is free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees."

The OSH Act also allows states to operate their own safety and health plans so long as they are at least as strict as federal standards, and California does so through its agency known as Cal/OSHA. Again, our state tends to be both more aggressive and progressive than many other states, so compliance here can be more challenging.

Equal Employment and Anti-Discrimination Measures in the Workplace

The Civil Rights Act of 1964, in its section called Title VII, prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. Subsequent national legislation has extended anti-discrimination protections based on age, pregnancy, genetic history, and more. Court decisions have further extended protections to the LGBQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and questioning) community, as well as to sexual orientation and gender identity.

Discrimination based on these protected classes can take various forms, including rejection of a job applicant, declining promotions to existing employees — or worse, demoting them — but equally objectionable and illegal is harassment. Harassment can also assume many forms, including slurs, exclusion of individuals from groups, offensive jokes, and more.

The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is charged with investigating complaints of discrimination and seeking redress where indicated. States also have enacted anti-discrimination and harassment laws and set up regulatory agencies. In California, the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) is responsible for enforcing state laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or employee because of a protected characteristic.

Retaliation and Wrongful Termination

Discrimination can also take the form of workplace retaliation and wrongful termination. For example, if an employee reports a safety violation to Cal/OSHA, or cites an instance of sexual harassment to the EEOC, and is suddenly demoted or taken off the track for advancement. Or worse, that employee is terminated, but the reasons given — if any — are only a cover-up for retaliation. Any of these actions can become a claim or lawsuit in the making.


Proudly serving the community around Granite Bay, California, I can offer you experienced guidance and representation when to comes to all matters of your business, including compliance with federal and state employment, safety, and discrimination statutes. Katz Business Law is dedicated to providing you with the best and most personalized legal services. When you call, you will speak with me directly, and together, we’ll navigate the best compliance and legal route for you. Call today for a free consultation.