Some Employee Rights in California Cannot Be Waived

Labor laws protect everyone working in the state of California. Regardless of an individual’s legal status or birthplace, they are protected by labor laws once hired. As an employer or employee in California, it is crucial that you understand the protections granted to employees by state law. You need to understand that while some employee rights can be waived, others cannot. As an employee, it is vital that you are aware of the rights you cannot waive to avoid being taken advantage of by an unscrupulous employer. Employers sometimes suggest that a worker can waive certain rights in exchange for other benefits. If you do not understand California employment laws, you may find yourself agreeing to waive rights that cannot be waived. 

In this article, we discuss some of the employee rights in California that cannot be waived.

Right to a Minimum Wage

Employers must pay employees at least the state’s minimum wage. Paying anything less than that is illegal. Currently, the minimum wage in California is $15.50 per hour. In California, an employee cannot waive their right to receive at least the minimum wage. Labor Code section 1194 voids any agreement between an employee and employer to work for less than the state’s minimum wage.

Right to Overtime Pay

Workers in California are required by law to pay. Employers are required to pay overtime at the rate of 1.5 times the regular pay rate. California employees are entitled to overtime pay if they work for over eight hours in a work day, over forty hours in a work week, and/or seven days in a row. Employees in California may also not waive their right to overtime pay.

However, the issue of overtime pay is more complicated than the issue of minimum wage. If you believe you have been denied overtime pay that is rightfully yours, consult with a California employment lawyer.

Right to Receive Expense Reimbursement

According to California law, employers must reimburse employees for necessary expenses or losses incurred during the course of work. The law provides that workers cannot waive their right to receive expense reimbursement. According to the law, an employee cannot be liable for business costs. According to Labor Code section 2804, any contract or agreement an employee makes to waive their right to reimbursement for necessary expenses is null and void.

Sometimes employers try to claim that a worker does not deserve to be compensated for some expenses because those expenses do not qualify as “necessary.” When an employer brings up this argument, it is crucial that an employee seeks the help of an employment attorney. A skilled employment lawyer can help you determine if the expenses in question qualify as “necessary.” If they do, an employment attorney can guide you on what steps to take next to ensure you are reimbursed.

Contact a California Employment Lawyer

If you would like to learn about other employment laws that cannot be waived or believe an employer persuaded you to waive a right that you should not have been able to waive, contact a California employment lawyer.