Employment Exploitation Claims

Made by Immigrants


Sexual Harassment


Legal and illegal immigrants have enforceable rights under various employment laws and should expect their employer to respect those rights and all other laws affecting them. By way of example:

Minimum Wage Requirement

The minimum wage in California is $8.00 per hour at this time. Minors and some individuals in training can be paid less than the minimum wage, within defined limits. Employees who are paid by the piece or on a commission basis must be paid an amount equivalent to the minimum wage for all hours worked.

Meal and Break Periods

Employees must be given a thirty minute, unpaid meal period for every five hours worked each day. Employees must also be given a ten minute paid rest break for each four hour period worked each day.

Uniforms and Equipment

Clothing and equipment required by an employee must be paid for by the employer. An employer cannot deduct the cost of uniforms or equipment from the employee’s pay, however, an employer can require a reasonable deposit.

Food, Lodging and Transportation Costs

An employer providing food, lodging or transportation to an employee cannot credit the value of these items toward the requirement to pay the minimum wage without a voluntary written agreement with the employee.

Overtime Pay

California law requires employers to pay daily overtime pay of time and one-half times the regular wage after eight hours worked in a day, and twice regular wage after twelve hours worked in a day unless the employee is exempt as defined by law.

Records of Hours Worked

Employers must maintain records for each employee of daily hours worked and rate of pay. If an employer does not keep accurate records and there is a dispute about hours worked, the Labor Commissioner will accept an employee’s records as evidence.

Holiday, Vacation, and Sick Pay

Employers are not legally obligated to provide paid holidays, vacation or sick days. However, if an employer has promised to give an employee such days off with pay or has been in the practice of doing so, the employee may be able to enforce payment as a verbal, written, or implied contract.

Workers’ Compensation and Employment Taxes

Employers must pay all applicable employee taxes and must obtain Workers’ Compensation insurance to protect employees from the results of employment related injuries.

Age Discrimination is Unlawful

It is illegal to discriminate against an employee on the basis of age (over forty) regarding an employee’s compensation, terms or privileges of employment or offers of employment.

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