California’s progressive legislature consistently enacts laws to protect workers in the State. Effective January 1, 2019, there were many new enactments that employers must be aware of and employees should also know in order to make sure their rights are protected. Consulting an Employment Law Attorney In California is important to know how safe your rights are.

First, California increased its minimum wage to $12.00 per hour for workplaces with 26 or more employees and $11.00 per hour for employers with fewer workers. There will be an annual increase of $1.00 per hour until January 2022 (for the larger firms) and January 2023 for the smaller ones. It is also important to know that individual towns and counties have passed laws requiring even greater wages.

Next, as it pertains to sexual harassment settlements, the prior law used to permit broad language to prevent claimants (and recipients of settlement money) from ever discussing the terms of the settlement. Effective January 1, 2019, such a confidentiality provision is only permitted if the claimant wants it, too.

Third, any sort of settlement agreement used to permit language requiring a claimant to maintain confidentiality no matter what. Effective January 1, 2019, it is unlawful to include any ban that would prevent someone from giving testimony about alleged criminal conduct or sexual harassment in any administrative, legislative, or judicial proceeding in which the individual was requested to appear pursuant to a court order, subpoena or written request from an administrative agency or the legislature.

Fourth, there is significantly increased requirements for workplace sexual harassment training that must be completed by January 1, 2020.

Fifth, the term hostile work environment was redefined to afford workers greater protections. On a related not, agreements that an employee must sign a non-disclosure agreement in order to be promoted or hired have been banned.

Also, the statute of limitations on sexual harassment claims is increased to ten years.

Seventh, corporate boards of directors are now required to include women.

In addition to the foregoing, there are many other protections to benefit women and families, such as (i) extended paid family leave and (ii) less restrictions on lactation and nursing. All of the above is noted in [].

If you feel any of the above were violated by your employer, you should contact an Employment Law Attorney In California
to see if you have the ability to make a claim.

So how do you find the best attorneys for your claim?
This is not an easy answer, as there are approximately 170,000 practicing attorneys in California. But what makes a labor law attorney qualified?

The term employment law
generally covers the rights, obligations and responsibilities found within the employer-employee relationship. This may include wages, workplace safety, discrimination, wrongful termination, etc. If you are an employee, you should seek a firm that practices primarily on behalf of workers. If you are an employer, you want the company that typically represents employers. This is because strategies and experience may be very different.

Some claims may fall under the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and include:

1) Discrimination, such as sexual orientation, race or
2) Sexual Harassment, which extends beyond actual
physical contact;
3) Wage and Hour Violations, if you were not paid
overtime wages, if your salary fell below minimum
wage, if certain postings were not made by employers,
4) Wrongful Termination, because you cannot be fired for
a bad faith reasons, such as retaliation.

You also want to find an Employment Law Attorney In California where the culture is positive. It is true that happier attorneys will typically perform better. So, what makes up a firm with a positive culture?

1) The firm cares about its people. Long hours are not
uncommon, so the proper treatment of attorneys is
crucial to a successful firm. A focus on people—and
not numbers—makes things better for lawyer and,
ultimately, client.

2) There is direction. Young attorneys who are pointed
in the right direction and taught good habits become
effective partners. Direction leads to better
preparation and better attention to detail, which will
only serve to benefit the client.
3) Quality. Of course, firms that achieve positive
results have hired top attorneys.
4) Loyalty. Hiring quality attorneys is important.
Keeping them is just as important. Regular
commendation, raises and keeping true to your employees
are some things that will keep them on your firm’s
5) Leadership. As with direction, a law firm needs leaders to keep everyone doing what they are supposed to.

So now you know a little something about labor and employment law, changes made in 2019 and how to find law firms and attorneys that will help you achieve a positive result in your employment law case in California. Use this knowledge to protect your rights.

Author's Bio: 

Mike Haynes is a freelance writer, with years of experience, creating content for varied online portals. His content is published on many national and international publications. He has expertise in writing about business services & marketing.