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New laws make workplaces fair for employees in 2016

As a worker in California, you want to know that your rights as an employee are protected. There are various laws in place to protect you against discrimination, wrongful terminations, and to make sure you can get the compensation needed if you get hurt. New laws can come into play each year as legislators lobby for new bills. These are some of the laws that will affect California in 2016.

One of the most important changes is to the minimum wage. California's minimum will rise to $10 in 2016, and if you're a nonexempt employee, you should earn at least $20 per hour. This change is designed to help prevent workplace discrimination by making sure all workers have a good wage.

The Fair Pay Act, another being implemented in 2016, protects against workplace discrimination by making employers show why pay differences are present in the workplace. The differences must be for a reason other than sex, which will help keep women and men on the same level of income for the same jobs and services. Employers will need to show how employees differ, either because of seniority, education, or other factors, and if they can't, they could be accused of discriminatory pay rates.

Another new law approaches the issue of wage theft. Now, the California Labor Commissioner has been given the power to go after the property of employers who don't pay all the wages required to employees. Withholding wages is not legal, and the commissioner can put a lien against the employer's property or business to correct this issue.

Source: L.A. Biz, "These laws will affect California businesses in 2016," Allen Young, accessed Dec. 29, 2015

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