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Palo Alto Employment Law Blog

California child labor guidelines

Despite the fact that young people can benefit tremendously from the responsibility and experience that comes from working, some minors are subject to unlawful employment practices. That is why the attorneys at Kastner Kim, L.L.P., are committed to ensuring that the employment rights of minors are upheld at all times. If you or your child have encountered unfair employment practices and/or illegal work conditions, it is important that you understand how California state laws account for the employment of minors.

According to the California Department of Industrial Relations, the California Labor Code outlines the terms under which minors can be employed and mandates a number of child labor protections. In addition to explaining that the vast majority of people under the age of 18 are protected under state guidelines, the Labor Code mandates that all minors must obtain a permit to work in the state of California. 

Walmart accused of retaliation in California

While employers across the state of California do have the right to implement and enforce employment policies at their discretion, they do not have the authority to prohibit workers from organizing or otherwise exercising their legal rights. In the event that employees suspect that they have been subject to retaliation or any other form of workplace discrimination, they have the right to pursue complaints against their employer.

The Organization United For Respect at Walmart, or OUR Walmart, has been advocating on the behalf of Walmart workers for improved employment benefits and wages for close to four years even though the group is not a collective-bargaining union. And while the worker’s rights group has strived to improve the conditions of Walmart workers across the country, their efforts were recently bolstered by the recent ruling of an administrative law judge in Washington DC.

Executive contract considerations

An employment agreement is generally intended to protect the interests of both the employer and the employee alike by outlining the expectations of each party. And while employers benefit from the establishment of clear guidelines for employees to abide by, employees profit from having the terms of their employment and related benefits described and enforced. That is why it is important for prospective employees to be familiar with the most common elements of an employment contract, and how they may apply to an executive position.

Business Insider explains that employers and employees often regard employment contracts differently. A person approaching an executive position may welcome the establishment of an employment agreement as a way to document arrangements for financial incentives, benefits and pensions. An employer, however, may prefer to limit the number of employment terms that they are contractually bound by.

What is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act?

You, like so many other workers across the state of California, may have medical care insurance coverage through your employer. And as an insurance consumer, you have a number of legal rights and protections. Understanding the basic components of the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act is one important aspect of upholding your rights under the law.

The United States Department of Labor explains that the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act was enacted in 1996, and mandates legal protections for employees with employer-sponsored health insurance. HIPAA guarantees continued health coverage for workers and their dependents under a number of circumstances and prohibits discrimination on the basis of a pre-existing condition, which is intended to allow people to maintain their health insurance while changing jobs.

Santa Clara County accused of retaliation

While it is not entirely uncommon for employers and employees to disagree on any number of topics, politics are generally discouraged from coming into play in employment-related decisions. When differing opinions lead to conflict between people in the workplace, there is the potential for incidents of retaliation to occur. Santa Clara County was recently accused of workplace discrimination and retaliation against a deputy district attorney and union supporter, prompting one state agency to intervene in the case.

According to the plaintiff in the dispute, he was retaliated against by the County District Attorney after he made critical comments about a particular policy that his employer endorsed. The deputy district attorney claimed that his supervising position on his employer’s executive team was terminated, and that he was transferred to another, out-of-the-way office after he made the comments. He also accused his employer of denying him an expected pay bonus.

Understanding California disability guidelines

When it comes to protecting workers against incidents of discrimination and wrongful termination, the state of California and the federal government both implement and enforce strict employment law guidelines. Many California employers and workers do not know, however, that state policies regarding the employment rights of people with disabilities are stricter than federal legislation.

According to the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, the state passed the Fair Employment and Housing Act in order to protect the rights of workers with disabilities and prevent workplace discrimination. The state legislation was enacted in 1974, and has been amended on several occasions since then. For instance, one measure that was later enacted prevents discrimination on the basis of a worker’s medical history, and specifies that state guidelines function separately from federal policies. 

Am I allowed to express milk at work?

Many California workers are eager to return to their job positions after giving birth to a child, but are concerned about how their family health needs and necessary accommodations may affect their employment status. If you have questions or concerns about lactation accommodations in the workplace, and your rights as an employee, it can be incredibly helpful to familiarize yourself with relevant California employment law guidelines.

The California Department of Industrial Relations explains that many workers are protected under the Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Orders, which mandates that employers provide rest periods and necessary accommodations to qualifying employees. Mandatory rest periods are typically determined according to the number of consecutive hours worked by an employee in one shift, and equal 10 minutes for every four hours worked. For example, you may be entitled to two 10-minute breaks if you work eight hours. Rest periods are enforceable under the law, and are regarded separately from time taken to use restroom facilities.

Demand for increased wages results in arrests in San Mateo County

Across the state of California and the entire country, countless people are employed to care for disabled and/or ailing family members and patients in a home setting. And while these workers provide invaluable services to their communities, there are instances where they are confronted by serious employment-related issues. One group of home health workers recently engaged in protests and acts of civil disobedience in order to promote the rights of workers in San Mateo County.

According to a union representative for home health workers employed with In-Home Supportive Services, workers had already attended two County Board of Supervisors meetings, where they rallied for wage increases. The workers’ wages have not changed in seven years, and their efforts have focused on achieving a 30-percent increase over a four-year period. Those opposed to wage increases argue that such measures would make IHSS worker wages disproportionately high.

An introduction to ERISA

Countless workers across the state of California and the entire country are legally protected under the terms of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, despite the fact that they may not be aware of what the federal legislation is exactly. Having a basic understanding of ERISA policies and enforcement guidelines can be beneficial to workers across the nation in the event that they are confronted by any number of employment-related issues.

According to the United States Department of Labor, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 provides legal protections to private industry workers by implementing and enforcing benefit plan standards. ERISA applies to healthcare and pension plans, and mandates that employers comply with several requirements in order to ensure that employee rights are safeguarded.

The Federal Fair Labor Standards Act

The Lawyers at Kastner Kim, L.L.P., have handled countless cases involving employment practices that do not comply with the U. S. Fair Labor Standards Act. If you are employed in the state of California and have questions or concerns about your wages, it is important to be familiar with federal guidelines regarding minimum wage and overtime pay practices, in addition to other related employer obligations.

According to the United States Department of Labor, the federal Fair Labor Standards Act applies to nonexempt workers in private and government sectors. FLSA establishes several standards that employers are required to abide by. For instance, the FLSA mandates provisions for the hiring and employment of underage workers. The federal policy also outlines how your employer should keep records relating to employee hours and wages.

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