The gig economy has exploded over the last decade. Many individuals have taken on second jobs in this sector to further support themselves and their families. The gig economy provides these individuals with the flexibility they need, but there are also major benefits to companies who utilize these workers. Since these workers have traditionally been classified as independent contractors, companies who hire them have been able to sidestep many of the costs that are associated with hiring an employee. These include health and workers' compensation insurance and Social Security and Medicare taxes. These savings can be quite significant.
There are a number of federal protections in place to protect employees in the workplace. One of the most important laws is the Federal Medical Leave Act, also known as FMLA. In short, those who qualify for the protections afforded by the FMLA cannot be retaliated against for taking leave for certain conditions. Protected conditions include the birth and care of a newborn child, care of a family member who suffers from a serious medical condition, and the care of one's own serious medical condition.
California workers are afforded certain protections in the workplace. While many of these protections are meant to halt discrimination and harassment, others are meant to ensure workers are paid fair compensation. This is why federal and state laws regulate wages and hours. Yet, despite these regulations, many employers still fail to adhere to them, which cheat workers out of their hard earned wages and benefits.
California's workers don't have time to worry about the intricacies of wage and hour laws. While this is understandable (after all, they are focused on performing their job duties and caring for their families), sometimes knowledge of this area of the law is critical to being treated fairly in workplace. Those who don't know their rights may be unfairly taken advantage of when employer fails to pay overtime wages, fails to make payments on time in accordance with applicable statutes or denies them breaks that are provided for by the law.
Many Californians are used to receiving steady and reliable paychecks. In fact, these payments may be so consistent that they don't realize the extensive legal framework in place to protect employee wages. All too often, though, employers fail to adhere to these laws, which can cause serious financial harm to expectant workers. Therefore, it is important to have a basic understanding of wage and hour laws. By doing so, individuals can better determine when a wage and hour claim is appropriate.
Many workers in California feel that they are at their employer's disposal. Oftentimes, this means that they feel obligated to take on extra work when requested, even if it means lengthening their day. These individuals may be afraid to turn down their employer out of fear of retaliation or termination, but others welcome the opportunity in hopes that they will receive overtime pay.