California has one of the strongest economies in the world, in part, because it is friendly to entrepreneurial endeavors and new industries, like technology. However, the state also has the reputation for offering workers better protection than many other places in the country.
Elite workers who relocate to California will find that they have more protection and rights than elsewhere in the country. In many states, workers can only depend on federal employment laws for their protection and basic rights. In California, there are state laws that improve upon multiple federal programs. How has California helped to lead the way on worker rights?
The state has expanded overtime rules
Federal overtime rules establish the right for hourly workers and non-exempt salaried workers to receive 150% of their typical hourly wage for hours worked over 40 in a week. California expands those rights to include workers who go seven days in a row without a day off and those who work more than 12 hours in a single shift. In fact, the California overtime law even requires 200% compensation for certain overtime situations.
California expanded the Family and Medical Leave Act
The federal Family and Medical Leave Act gives workers the right to take time off to care for their own house or for the needs of specific family members. California improved upon this federal law with the California Family Rights Act. The family members who can qualify workers for leave expands to grandparents, siblings and even non-dependent adult children for workers in California.
California limits how employers can control the futures of their staff
Non-compete agreements have become commonplace in many of the top paid industries. These agreements are often necessary for someone taking a new position because companies require them.
Whether you work in technology or as an automotive engineer, many companies will expect you to sign restrictive covenants that prevent you from opening your own business or working for a competitor for years after you terminate employment with the company. California thankfully does not enforce non-compete agreements in most cases, giving workers the right to move on to a new job or to innovate and start their own companies.
Identifying how California employment laws differ from federal ones to make it easier for employees to evaluate whether the company may have violated their rights.