The People's Guide

36th Edition 2015

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Page 15 of 71

The People's Guide 2015 16 Worker's Rights 2. Wage Claims You can file a wage claim with the Labor Commissioner for any amount owed to you (or in Small Claims Court for up to $10,000) if your employer does any of the following: • Pays less than the minimum wage, which is $9.00 per hour. (It will in- crease to $10 per hour on January 1, 2016). Some workers do not have to be paid minimum wage, including minors • Does not pay overtime. Overtime means time-and-a-half of your hourly rate if you work more than 40 hours in a week OR more than 8 hours a day. Overtime means double-your hourly rate if you work more than 12 hours in a day OR more than 8 hours on the 7th day of a work in a row. • Takes improper deductions from your pay • Does not pay you all wages owed im- mediately upon discharge or within 72 hours if you quit and don't give 3 days notice. • After you lose your job, does not pay vacation time that you were promised and have earned. • Does not pay wages owed or pays you with a check that bounces • Does not give you at least 10 min- utes rest break for every 4 hours work or a meal break of at least a half hour with- out interruptions, which can be unpaid, if you work at least a 5 hour shift. You may be entitled to "one additional hour of pay" for each meal and rest period violation per day. You may also claim waiting time penal- ties. These penalties consist of your daily pay for each day after separa- tion from work that you have to wait to receive all wages owed to you, up to 30 days. Wages include regular pay, overtime, vacation pay, and pay for not getting rest or meal breaks. Free Wage Claim Clinics (for assistance with your case): Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles (800) 399-4529 Neighborhood Legal Services (800) 433-6251 To reach the Labor Commissioner's office about wage claims: State Industrial Relations Department, Labor Standards Enforcement, 320 W. 4th Street, Suite 450. LA,90012. (213) 620-6330. Van Nuys:6150 Van Nuys Blvd. # 206 Van Nuys, 91401 (818) 901-5315. The federal Department of Labor has an office that also helps people with similar problems. Its services are more limited. However, you can file an anonymous complaint with them to avoid retaliation by your employer. Department of Labor, 915 Wilshire Blvd., Ste 960, LA, 90017 (866) 487-9243. 3. Discrimination Itis illegal to discriminate against work- ers because of their race/color, sex, religion, national origin, citizenship, age, disability, political affiliation, or sexual orientation. It is also illegal to require sexual favors from an employee (sexual harassment). If you believe you have been discriminated against, you should first try to talk with an attorney who specializes in these cases. You can file a complaint, even if you do not have an attorney, with either: The California Department of Fair Em- ployment Housing, 320 W 4th St. 10th Floor, Los Angeles CA 90013, (800) 884-1684, Or: Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission 255 E. Temple, Fourth Floor, LA, CA 90012. (213) 894-1000 They will investigate your complaint and may be able to help solve your problem. If your case requires court action, you will be given a letter authorizing you to file a lawsuit. 4. Work Safety Employers are required to provide safe, healthy work areas. If you are asked to work under unsafe or unhealthy condi- tions, a state agency can investigate your complaint, and your employer may be fined for violating the law. Contact the California Occupational Health and Safety Administration (Cal/OSHA) office nearest your work. Visit dosh/DistrictOffices.htm. 5. Sick Leave A new California law provides that em- ployees can accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours they work. The law begins July 1, 2015 and applies to employees who have worked for at least 30 days within a year from the time they began their employment. You can begin using sick leave on the 90th day of employment, and any paid sick leave not used within the year car- ries over to the next year . An employer can limit you to 24 hours (three full days) of sick leave in any one year period. Sick leave can be used to care for your- self, but also family members, and can be used for reasons other than illness, including preventative care, and issues related to domestic violence, sexual as- sault and stalking. An employer cannot require you to find a replacement worker as a condition of using paid sick leave. In cases where you can foresee that you will need to use sick leave, you are required to provide reasonable advance notice. Otherwise you can just provide notice as soon as it is practical. 6. Groups That Can Help These organizations and websites can help you learn more about your rights in the workplace 9 to 5 Los Angeles Working Women provides free counseling and resources (213) 201-7029 National Helpline (800) 522-0925 at- torneys who can help with work related issues

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