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California Raises Minimum Wage, Adds New Employee Benefit Laws in 2014

Posted on Jan 13, 2014

California workers may still be subject to a struggling economy, but positive changes are on the horizon in 2014.

Several bills passed by the Democratic-controlled state Legislature have focused on assisting low-income workers, domestic employees, illegal immigrants and other vulnerable workers who have been treated unfairly by employers in past decades. A few of the new California employee benefits beginning this year include:

  • Higher base pay – Minimum wage will be increased to $9 per hour starting July 1. This increase will be the first of two that will raise California’s base wage to $10 by 2016, when it is anticipated to be one of the nation's highest rates.
  • Overtime wages – As of January 1, domestic workers such as housekeepers and nannies must be paid overtime wages. Domestic staff are eligible for time-and-a-half if they work over nine hours per day or over 45 hours in a single week. Although these rules apply to most in-home caregivers, babysitters are exempt from the law.
  • Mandatory breaks – Employees working in agriculture and landscaping industries are required to take rest breaks during periods of hot weather.
  • Job protection – Victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking cannot be fired for any reason related to their being a target of a crime.
  • Court allowances – Employees cannot dismiss workers who have been the victims of certain crimes (such as domestic violence or assault) and have taken time off for court hearings.

Of course, injured employees can also take advantage of medical benefits for workers in California. To find out what you may be owed, call the Ledgerwood Law Group at 888-761-7383 or get your questions answered in our FREE book, The Northern California Workers’ Compensation Survival Manual.

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Thomas Ledgerwood
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