A lot of workers in California who were maltreated usually seek the protection of state employment laws to fight for their rights and file a complaint.

This is because, unlike in other states, the California labor laws are more lenient to workers and provides better protection from their employers and co-workers who are taking advantage of them. Here are some of the issues where California's labor law can be of better help:


Sexual harassment and discrimination had been the basis of complaints filed against employers, supervisors, and co-workers.

To address this problem, there have been several laws enacted by the federal government to cater to members of protected classes, one of which is the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

The EEOC offers protection to those who are discriminated because of their age, race/color, pregnancy, genetic information, national origin, disability, sex, and religion.

Unfortunately, those who are or are perceived to be homosexuals and bisexuals are not protected by the federal law. However, they can still file a complaint under California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) which enforces the state's Fair Employment and Housing Act.

Under DFEH, even workers who are employed by a company with at least five employees are protected from being discriminated against because of their sexual orientation or perceived gender preference as well as other classification protected by EEOC.

Rest and meal breaks

Federal laws do not mandate rest and meal breaks as it should be to the discretion of the employer. But in most states, like California, these rest and meal breaks are mandated by state employment laws. This means that every worker is to be given a 10-minute rest break for every four hours of working and a 30-minute meal break after a five-hour work period.

When taking meal breaks, the employee will be free from work and is allowed to leave his work station. If employers violate their worker's rights regarding meal and rest breaks, then, he will have to pay an equivalent of the worker's hourly rate for every break that was not provided.

Minimum wage

Minimum wage is imposed to provide adequate compensation for the worker's services provided to the company. California's minimum wage is relatively higher than what is imposed in federal laws. Since the rates differ, employers must follow which is more advantageous to the worker, in this case, it's the California's imposed minimum wage.


Under the federal law, a worker should be paid an equivalent of 150 percent of his hourly rate for every hour that exceeds his 40 working hours each week. In California, the same rule applies for the 9th to 12th continuous working hour but the employee will be entitled to 200 percent of his hourly rates for every hour that exceeds the first 12 hours.

For more information about California Labor Law, ask an expert Los Angeles Employment Lawyer.