New Rights for California Employees in 2014

Last year the California legislature passed many new protections for employees. This article will review 3 of these new laws. The following laws all took effect January 1, 2014.

Limitation on Employers’ Ability to Recover Attorney’s Fees: SB 462

Employers who successfully defend against unpaid wage lawsuits may not recover attorney’s fees from their employees unless the employer can show that the employee brought the lawsuit in bad faith. In other words if the employee knew that they did not have a valid claim but brought the lawsuit anyway, the employer could recover the costs of defending the lawsuit from the employee. However, this law does not apply to cases where there employee is seeking unpaid overtime or for violations of the minimum wage law. Employers in these situations may generally not recover attorney’s fees.

Overtime for Personal Attendants: AB 241

Personal attendants were previously exempt from overtime requirements, however they now have special rights. A personal attendant must be paid one and a half times their regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 9 in any workday and for more than 45 hours in a week. A personal attendant is defined as an individual employed in a private home to supervise, feed, or dress a child, or care for a person who, due to age or mental or physical disability, needs supervision. These employees must be hired by a private party or a third party that is recognized in the healthcare industry to provide these services. Personal attendants are a subset of domestic care workers; domestic care workers who are not considered personal attendants are still exempt from overtime requirements.

Amendments to Leave Law: SB 400

Victims of stalking now have the same rights to take leave to appear at legal proceedings as the victims of domestic violence. When the victim works for an employer with more than 25 employees he or she may also receive time off to participate in safety planning, or to seek services related to the domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking that they were the victims of. These victims also may not be retaliated against, and must be given reasonable accommodations by their employers.

Enforce Your Rights

If your employer has failed to pay you or provide you the rights that you are entitled to contact the employment  law attorneys at the Law Offices of Michael S. Cunningham. Schedule a free consultations by calling (951) 213-4786.

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