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January 2014 Archives

Restaurant industry and tipped workers at odds on minimum wage

As we noted recently, there's been a lot of discussion around raising the minimum wage, both in California, where Governor Brown signed an increase into law, and at the federal level, where such efforts have had less success. However, many employees who regularly receive customer gratuities are not paid based on the regular minimum wage. The good news for California's tipped employees is that according to the U.S. Department of Labor, the hourly minimum wage in our state is the same as for non-tipped workers: $8.00. If you move to another state, however, you may be in for an unpleasant surprise.

California, other states move to put minimum wage on the ballot

Increasing the minimum wage is the subject of heated debate among politicians. While much of this debate is along partisan lines, one prominent California Republican has gone against many Republican legislators on the issue - some of whom want to eliminate the concept. Meanwhile, a majority of Republican voters say they approve of raising the minimum wage.

Rhode Island joins California, New Jersey on paid family leave

California has led the way when it comes to mandating that employers provide paid leave for their workers for their own or a family member's illness. California was the first state in the country, in 2004, to require paid family leave under law. New Jersey followed five years later. Now, as of Jan. 1, Rhode Island has become the third state with such a program.

Postal Service ordered to reinstate fired National Guardsman

The idea of a California employer firing someone because he or she was called up for military duty seems outrageous to many people. When the employer is part of the federal government, it is almost unbelievable. However, that's what happened to a National Guardsman employed by the U.S. Postal Service. Now the USPS has been ordered to reinstate him and to reimburse him for 13 years of back wages, benefits, interest and legal costs – all of which could add up to more than $2 million.

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