California Business and Office Labor Law News
California workers employed as office workers may find they are misclassified as exempt from overtime pay because they are given an administrative job title. They may also find they are victims of wage and hour violations, wrongful termination, harassment or discrimination. California office workers who are victims of unlawful business practices may be able to file a lawsuit against their employer.
California Wage and Hour Violations
California officer workers may be eligible to file wage and hour violation claims depending on the type of work they do and how their job is classified. Employees who are eligible for minimum wage should be paid the minimum wage and receive proper meal and rest breaks.
Some California office workers may find they are misclassified as exempt from overtime pay due to an administrative job title, such as "Administrative Assistant." Although there is an administrative exemption for overtime pay, that exemption is based on the worker's job duties and discretion or authority in the job and not just on the job title. In other words, simply having the word "administrative" in a job title does not mean the employee is exempt from overtime pay.
Employees who are administrative in title only—but not in job duties—should be paid overtime wages. Failure to do so is a violation of California labor law.
California Wrongful Termination
Although California is an at-will state (employees can be fired without reason at any time), employees may still be able to claim wrongful termination if the firing was due to discrimination, a violation of an implied contract, a violation of public policy, or retaliation for reporting illegal activities. Employees who are fired for any of those reasons may be eligible to claim wrongful termination against their employer.
California employees are protected from discrimination under both federal and state laws. These laws prohibit discrimination based on protected characteristics, including race, religion, age, sex, marital status, disability, pregnancy, and sexual orientation.
Discrimination can take the form of disparate treatment, in which an employee is negatively singled out due to a protected characteristic; and harassment, in which the employee is subject to unwanted or negative contact due to the protected characteristic. Examples of harassment include racial slurs, unwanted sexual advances, or abusive behavior.