employment law

California Employment Law and Administrative Agencies: Worker Protections and Compliance

Employment laws are in place to safeguard employees from unfair treatment and hazardous working environments. Employers found guilty of violating these regulations face severe penalties. California is one of the most employee-friendly states in the United States, offering extensive protections against discrimination, unpaid wages, and other workplace issues. That is why understanding these laws is crucial for employers to avoid significant penalties and fines.

Employment Law Overview

California has various employment laws that employers must comply with. These regulations cover a range of topics, including wage and hour laws, drug and alcohol testing, employee termination, workers’ compensation, maintaining proper pay records, and providing mass layoff notices. However, it is important to note that these regulations may vary based on the employer’s size.


California laws prohibit employers from discriminating and retaliating against employees in several protected classes. This means employers must provide equal pay and pregnancy accommodations, allow employees access to their personnel files, allow wage discussions, and protect whistleblowers.

Wage and Hour Compliance

California has strict laws related to the minimum wage, meals and rest breaks, overtime, and double time.The minimum wage in California is $16.00 per hour, though you specific locality may differ. The laws also require employers to pay employees for hours worked in excess of 40 hours in a workweek and 8 hours in a workday. Employers must also provide non-exempt employees with a paid ten-minute rest period for each four-hour work period. California law also has specific requirements for exempt, or salaried, employees and our office continues to see misclassification claims on this issue. 

Pay and Benefits

California has laws related to employee benefits and pay, including health care continuation, temporary disability insurance, wage deductions, pay statements, and wage notice requirements. 

Leave and Time Off

Under state laws, employees can take time off and are entitled to certain leave, including family and medical leave, bereavement leave, paid family leave, paid sick leave, emergency responder leave, and domestic violence leave.

Safe Working Environment

Under California law, employers are required to create a work environment that is safe and secure for their employees. This includes developing a written Injury and Illness Prevention Program. Moreover, smoking, carrying weapons, and hand-held cell phones while driving are strictly prohibited in the workplace.

Employment Ending

When employment ends in California, employers need to ensure they comply with applicable final pay, mass layoff notification requirements, and job references. 

Because, these laws involve complex issues, consider working with an experienced employment law attorney to better understand what these laws can mean for you and your company.

Contact Gould, Hahn, & Reinhardt To Learn More About Employment Law

The experienced labor law attorneys at Gould, Hahn, & Reinhardt are well-versed in the laws and regulations that impact employers in California. Our legal team is prepared to assist you with a wage claim or any other legal help you may need.

If you have questions about the employment laws in California or need to discuss your situation in more detail, contact Gould, Hahn, & Reinhardt by calling our legal team at 800-428-2297.