If you’re an employee who works in California, you are lucky! The fact is as an employee you probably have more rights than employees in most other states. As evidenced by California employment laws, Californians generally believe that employees should be legally protected from unreasonable forms of discrimination, retaliation, exploitation and abuse. The law in California attempts to create some legal protections for employees, so an employer under some situations cannot legally terminate an employee because of obligations to their family, their own political beliefs, or because the employee does not want to be complicit in violating laws that benefit the public. Further, laws regarding minimum wage and overtime are generally more generous in California, than the federal laws, and in many other states. While the law in California still needs to get better in terms of employee rights California
, it is better than most other states. In other words, there are more reasons why an employer cannot terminate an employee in California, as compared to most other states. It is always hypocritical when politicians who claim that they are pro-family, vote against laws that would help protect the family, like laws that provide protected leaves to employees who need to take care of a family, laws that require equal pay for women, or laws that protect parents who need to meet with their children’s teachers when there is a problem. Unfortunately, there are powerful political forces led by organizations like the United States Chamber of Commerce, which is a business oriented lobbying group that seeks to reduce the rights of employees. Lobbyists representing big corporations are constantly purchasing the votes of legislators to deny employees additional rights in the workplace, and to eliminate existing rights. Without trial attorneys willing to take on the big corporate defence firms, to fight for employees, employee rights California
would only be a fiction. Luckily, in California the movement to deny employees from gaining more rights, is weaker than in many other parts of the country. American employees need to wise up, and advocate for their own rights. There are too many examples of situations where in California a termination would be illegal, as compared to if it occurred in other states, it would not be. For this reason, whenever you are terminated in California, you should call an experienced wrongful termination attorney to consult with as to the facts of your termination. Most Californians need to be educated about what rights they have as an employee, because too many are not aware of what rights they have. Since many people do not know how many rights they have, when they are terminated illegally, they may not even be aware that their termination was for an illegal reason. In the Los Angeles and Orange County area there are many good employment law firms, which will speak to employees for free, to educate them as to their rights. There are many examples of laws in California that create rights for employees not present in federal law, or in many other states. For example, in California, it is illegal to terminate an employee because of their sexual orientation or marital status. See Fair Employment and Housing Act, Government Code § 12940 et seq. In California, the legal definition as to what qualifies as a disability is broader and more inclusive than federal law, so disabled employees are better protected in California compared to most other states. In California, businesses with 25 or more employees must allow a parent to take up to 40 hours each year to participate in their child’s school activities. See Education Code § 230.7-230.8 and Labor Code § 230.8. In California, employees are generally entitled to some paid sick days pursuant to Labor Code § 245-249. In California, an employer must provide paid sick days when a qualifying employee gives reasonable notice to miss work for diagnosis, care or treatment of an existing health condition, or preventative care for themselves, or a family member (child, spouse, domestic partner, parent, parent of spouse or domestic partner, grandparent, grandchild, and sibling. See Labor Code § 246.5 These are only a few of the rights California employees have, which employees in most other states do not. If you feel that your California employee rights
have been violated, then it is time to contact a good employment lawyer about your situation. You may find that you have some rights, which you did not know of. Furthermore, you may find that since you live and work in California, you have rights that you wouldn’t have if you lived and worked in most other states.