January 2016 Brought New Labor Laws Into Effect for California Workers Says Employment Attorney Deborah Barron

Law Firm Newswire



Sacramento, CA (Law Firm Newswire) February 2, 2016 – A number of new labor laws went into effect Jan. 1, 2016, that aim to make life easier for California workers.

The one change hotly debated over the years is the increase in the minimum wage to $10/hour, a move that, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, is likely to affect over 9 million employees at or below the federal minimum wage. The existing minimum federal wage is currently $7.25.

“New Year’s Day also rang in another much anticipated law, SB 579, which offers job-protected leave to deal with school emergencies or child-care issues,” said Deborah Barron, a respected Sacramento employment attorney. “The new law also bans employers with 25 or more workers from discriminating against or firing a parent for taking his or her legally allotted eight hours per month to be involved in school or daycare activities.”

The changes are highly significant, particularly for working moms with children under the age of 18. In California alone, there are an estimated 2.5 million mothers on the front lines dealing with a job to keep the family together and needing to be involved in their children’s activities/schooling.

The employment scene in California is definitely looking up for just about all workers, including part-time employees to hourly wage earners. As of July 1, 2015, those workers were granted leave to accrue sick time. Add that perk to the increased base rate of pay to leave to deal with family emergencies, and California is becoming a fair and equitable place to work.

Even though the laws relating to fair labor practices have changed since Jan. 1, it should not be expected that employers automatically comply with them. To this point in time, and the numerous lawsuits tell the story, there have been hundreds of workers taken advantage of by employers not paying them according to the letter of the law.

On the other side of the fence are those that regard the introduction of the new labor legislation as detrimental to doing business in California. Both sides of this issue may well have valid points. Nonetheless, the laws have been passed and they must now be enforced.

“Many employers have managed, in the past, to find loopholes in legislation and proceeded to work those loopholes to their advantage financially. Just because there are new laws in place to protect workers does not mean all is suddenly fair in the workplace. Keep watch. Learn what is new and how it affects you. If you have questions about your workplace and how you are treated, seek experienced legal counsel,” said Barron.

Learn more at http://www.lawbarron.com/