New laws take effect after banner year for workers
A variety of laws passed in 2013 are set to go into effect in 2014, many of them benefitting California workers. Much of the legislation was pushed by Democratic lawmakers hoping to help out workers still suffering from the economic recession, as many have been struggling to pick themselves back up. The new legislation will certainly be of assistance. In fact, Steve Smith of the California Labor Federation has called 2013 a “banner year for workers.”
Among the laws is one that requires that domestic workers be paid time-and-a-half when they work in excess of nine hours per day or over 45 hours in a week. Child care workers are exempt from the mandate, however. Another measure will be increasing the minimum wage to $9 beginning on July 1. That amount is set to increase to $10 by 2016, which would be the highest minimum wage in the country.
Another measure requires break times for agriculture and landscaping workers in hot weather. Illegal immigrants also have new protections, including a measure that makes it a crime for employers to report workers in retaliation for work-related complaints; a measure that prohibits law enforcement agencies from holding immigrants in custody for deportation when they are arrested for a minor crime but are otherwise eligible for release; and a measure that permits lawyers in the country illegally to be licensed for legal practice.
Various other work-related measures were passed last year, including a well known measure that prevents professional athletes for teams in other states from being awarded workers’ compensation benefits for cumulative trauma.
It is important for California workers to be aware not only of their rights under recently passed laws, but under the state’s established law. This is especially important for workers who are injured in the course of their duties.
Source: myFOXla.com, “New California Laws In 2014 Try To Help Employees, Immigrants,” Gigi Graciette January 1, 2013.