As an employee, you have a right to fair pay and to take time off work due to certain situations or conditions.

These rights are protected both under the federal and state employment and labor laws.

To know more about these rights here are some FAQ on employee's rights to fair pay and time off work:

What are the laws that protect employee rights to fair pay?

Here are some of the laws that protect your right to fair pay:

· Fair Labor Standards Act – This regulates the wages and hours worked by an employee. It sets the federal minimum wage rate, the time-and-a half rate for overtime and regulations on child labor.

· Equal Pay Act – Prohibits employers from paying an employee a lower rate compared to another employee of the opposite sex who performs the same or equal amount of work.

· State minimum wage laws – In California, the current minimum wage is $8 per hour.

What are the laws that protect employee rights to take time off work?

Here are some laws that protect your right to take time off work

  • Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) – Allows qualified employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for a new child, to care for a sick or injured family member, or to recover from own illness or injury without worrying about losing job.

  • Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) – Protects the rights of employees who were called to serve in the military to be reemployed with the same seniority, status and pay by their employers after their service.

  • California Paid Family Leave – Extends unemployment disability insurance and provides up to 6 weeks of paid leave to qualified employees to care for a child, care for a sick or an injured family member. This is administered through the State Disability Insurance and the employee must qualify for it to take advantage.

If the employee receives tips, can the employer pay him lower than the minimum wage?

Under federal law, if the employee earns about $30 in tips every month then the employer may pay lower than the minimum wage.

However, that does not apply in some states, particularly in California where employers are required to pay employees the minimum wage regardless of earned tips.

How can an employee know if he or she is entitled to overtime?

To be exempt from overtime, majority or 50 percent of your time at work should fall under the following categories:

  • Executive

  • Administrative

  • Professional

  • Performing arts
  • Software development and is earning more than $41 per hour
  • Outside sales person.

If majority of your work, however, is in production, then you are not exempted from overtime and should be paid.