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California Employment Law: Taking it Higher

from: www.employmentexposed.com

Did you know that thanks to California employment law and the support of the current Governor, California will have the highest hourly rate of pay in the USA begining January 1, 2008? California employment law will then dictate that a worker's minimum wage will be $8.00 per hour, up from $7.50 an hour.

In addition, employees under California employment law provisions will also get an increase in meal and lodging credits by the same percentage as the minimum wage increases. Be careful though, that under employers governed by California employment law, they could use the increased amounts for meals and lodging to count against minimum wage when they provide employees with meals/lodging. Unfortunately, if you are a federal employee and work outside California, your wage remains at $5.15 an hour. That hurts!

The hottest issue in California employment law is the paying overtime. This is an area of California employment law that is pretty much akin to stepping on a landmine. Why? Because there are two classes of workers under California employment law – exempt and non-exempt – and failure to know the difference can cost business big bucks. If an employee entitled to overtime is treated as exempt, they could be eligible to a nice chunk of change for overtime pay once the dust settles.

Is there a difference when paying an exempt vs. non-exempt worker? Under California employment law, a non-exempt employee is subject to all pay rules set up by the Industrial Welfare Commission – that includes overtime. In other words, a non-exempt worker must be paid all overtime hours worked.

If you are in doubt as to what category your employees fall into, check California employment law codes and regs for the answer. If it still is not clear, then call the Department of Labour. In general to be an exempt employee it would depend on the level of responsibility they have, or their professional status. This does not have anything to do with their job title, or whether or not they get a salary or an hourly wage.

As a general rule of thumb, workers considered to be exempt under the law are licensed professionals.  Example, doctors, lawyers, architects, engineers, and certified public accountants. Also exempt are managers who hire, fire, and train, and spend less than half of their time performing the same duties as their employees
The other two categories considered to be exempt are outside sales reps and those who create/make business policies for their organizations. Again, if you have any questions about exempt vs. non-exempt employees and how to make sure they are paid according to the law, check with the nearest Department of Labour office. Save yourself some time and effort in the long run.

Christine Gray is a recognized authority on the subject of employment. Her website Employment Search provides a wealth of informative articles and resources on everything you will need to know about employment opportunities. All rights reserved. Articles may be reprinted as long as the content and links remains intact and unchanged.

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