Californians should be prepared for the inevitable changes that come with the dawn of a new year. For hourly workers, there has been a glimmer of good news in the form of an increased minimum wage for 2022. While that is a positive, it does not always mean that employers will adhere to the tenets of the law. In some cases, there might be attempts to reduce worker wages in underhanded ways. Vulnerable employees should be cognizant of their rights and make sure they are compensated as they should be.
Hourly minimum wage is now $15 for some, $14 for others
Some workers will receive $15 per hour. Others will get $14. The higher wages are for people who are working at a business that employs at least 26 workers. This is a dollar more than they were getting before the change. For workplaces with 25 or fewer employees, the pay will be $14 per hour. This too is a dollar more than it was before. These employees will also see an increase in 2023 bringing their hourly pay to $15. Some areas of the state like the San Francisco Bay Area and Southern California have increased the minimum wage even further. The latter will have a minimum wage of $17.64 in July 2023.
Workers have various rights they should know about
It is wise to know the minimum wage based on the area in which a person works. Even with these laws in place, it does not mean employers will adhere to them or employees know that they have recourse. With wages, meal breaks, overtime, sick leave and other potential areas where employers might try to cut costs and take advantage of workers, it is vital to know the details of the law. If unchecked, violations might continue and escalate into other illegal acts. This should be addressed immediately.
Employers should be held accountable if they indulge in wage theft or other violations
California is the first state in the union to require businesses to pay at least $15 per hour for some workers. This is a fundamental change. Even with that, it does not eliminate the chance that some workplaces could use strategies to reduce their costs. Some might be in violation of the wage and hour laws or other employment laws. Whether that is asking workers to perform some of their duties off the clock, cutting staff or using illegal tactics to intimidate workers into taking less than they are entitled to, it may be a violation and should not be tolerated. Workers who have been victimized should be fully knowledgeable about rights and act accordingly with help from those experienced in holding employers accountable for wrongdoing.