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Santa Barbara Employment Law Blog

How minimum wage increases may impact workers

To keep employers from taking advantage of their workers, federal law defines an hourly minimum wage. In recent years, the news in California has been filled with reports of efforts to increase these earnings. While opponents and proponents of the increase alike have argued about the consequences this could have, little real-world research was available to support their claims. Here is a rundown of recent studies about the impact that a raise could have on the lives of Americans.

As Forbes details, critics of the minimum wage increases have expressed concern about the impact minimum wage increases will have on small businesses. Early anecdotal evidence has borne out this concern. The Employment Policies Institute has released a collection of one hundred stories of small businesses who have had to reduce their numbers of employees or have gone out of business as a result of local minimum wage increases. Anecdotal evidence lacks the verifiable statistical analysis of formal research studies, but some small business employment statistics have been used to emphasize that this anecdotal evidence is hard to ignore. More than half of new jobs in the US come from small businesses.

How can I spot sex-based discrimination?

Like racial discrimination, national origin discrimination, and other types of unlawful mistreatment, sex-based discrimination is prohibited in the workplace. Whether you are employed in Santa Barbara, or another California region, it is pivotal to pinpoint and properly address this illegal treatment as soon as possible. Sadly, many employees have had their daily lives and futures disrupted as a result of unlawful discrimination.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission states that sex-based discrimination is against the law. However, it is crucial to be aware of the different ways that this discrimination manifests in offices and other workspaces across the country. For example, a protected employee may experience unlawful discrimination because of his or her gender, sexual orientation, transgender status or gender identity. There are many ways that workers are discriminated against, from the denial of promotions and termination of job contracts to the rejection of job applications and reassignment to worse positions.

What is sexual harassment?

Defining sexual harassment in California may seem simple on the surface, but it actually is a complex topic. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, sexual harassment typically interferes with your ability to work or creates a hostile environment where you feel uncomfortable. There are many actions that could fall under this umbrella definition, but generally, the harassment will in some way relate to the gender of the people involved or be of a sexual nature.

It is important to note in any case of sexual harassment, you must make it clear the harassment is not acceptable. You should tell the person committing the actions you do not like it and will not tolerate it. You should also use any employer provided services to file the proper complaint or notify your superiors of the incident.

Is your employer paying you unfairly?

We work because we need to be able to support ourselves and our families. If employers pay their workers less than they deserve, caring for a family can become impossible. Unfair pay or forcing you to work without pay is illegal. Here is what you can do if your employer treats you unfairly.

Employment-based immigration and addressing discrimination

Sadly, some immigrants face national origin discrimination when trying to start a new career in the U.S. If you have been subjected to discrimination on the basis of your national origin, an array of challenges may interfere with your work. For example, you could be facing financial problems because you were treated unfairly, or you could be under a considerable amount of anxiety. At Anticouni & Associates, we believe that national origin discrimination is unacceptable and that victims should not hesitate to take action.

If you are a protected employee, your employer is not allowed to discriminate against you due to your national origin. Therefore, if any form of discrimination manifests in the workplace, from being fired to reassigned to a less desirable position, you should take steps to protect yourself and hold those who violated the law responsible. It is vital for immigrants to recognize other forms of discrimination as well, from harassment to low wages and exploitation.

California clarifies rules for employee day of rest

Employees in California know that the workweek is tough. A day of rest is a welcome respite from the grind of the job. It is so important, in fact, that California law requires employers to provide one day of rest to employees for every seven days of the workweek. However, until recently, the law was unclear on how to define the workweek and what exceptions were allowed.

In early May, the California Supreme Court clarified existing rules related to the state-mandated day of rest. The new ruling is especially important to full-time employees who work six or more days in a work week, or part-time employees who work 30 hours or less per week. Let's take a look at what the Supreme Court said and what it means for employees in California.

Speaking out against employer violations

Each day, hard-working people are subjected to all sorts of different violations. Some of the violations may be financial in nature, while others may involve illegal work and other forms of unlawful activity. At Anticouni & Associates, we firmly believe that this is unacceptable and that those who have dealt with any type of violations in Santa Barbara deserve justice. Sadly, some are hesitant to speak out, for various reasons. If you think that your employer is mistreating you or is violating employment law in any way, you should not be afraid to step forward.

In recent years, many workers have found themselves in a difficult position. When an employer refuses to pay wages that are owed, employees may feel violated and at the same time, they may also experience financial hardships. Those who are denied wages may be unable to pay their bills, for example. Sometimes, an employer may refuse to pay a worker overtime that they are entitled to. In extreme cases, employers even refuse to pay an employee altogether. Employers who break the law and treat their workers unfairly must be held responsible for the difficulties they have caused.

What is national origin discrimination?

On job sites and work spaces across the country, discrimination is widespread. Employees may be treated unfairly and illegally due to their racial background, their gender, their religious views or their sexual orientation. However, some workers are also discriminated against because of their national origin, which is especially prevalent among immigrant workers in Santa Barbara, and all across California.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission covers national origin discrimination, which takes a number of forms, on their site. Often, victims of this type of discrimination are treated differently as a result of their national origin. However, it is important for you to understand some of the other ways that this discrimination manifests in the workplace. For example, it is against the law for an employer to discriminate against an employee because of their associations with people of a particular national origin. As an example, an employee cannot be discriminated against because he or she is married to someone with a certain national origin.

Discrimination and wrongful termination

When it comes to workplace issues such as discrimination, there are an array of topics to consider. For example, employees may experience harassment or other challenges in the workplace based on their gender or religious beliefs. In Santa Barbara, and all across the state of California, discrimination may also lead to an employee’s unlawful discharge, also known as wrongful termination.

According to USA.gov, laws related to the termination of an employee’s position differ from one state to another. Certain states have at-will employment, where employers can terminate workers’ position without reasons, so long as there were no contracts. However, there are a number of circumstances in which the dismissal of an employee is unlawful, such as firings which are the result of illegal discrimination.

Hospital cleaners worked over 40 hours for years with no overtime

If you work over 40 hours per week in California, it's likely you get paid overtime. The vast majority of people should be, according to the Department of Industrial Relations.

Under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and the California Labor Code, only a few types of employees are specifically exempt from overtime. These are executives, professionals, government workers, outside salespeople, unionized workers, hourly computer software workers, certain entertainers, commercial drivers and a few others who are either highly compensated or whose wages and working conditions are guarantee by other means.

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201 N. Calle Cesar Chavez
Suite 105
Santa Barbara, CA 93103

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Fax: 805-845-0965
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