If you are employed in the state of California, you already have plenty of responsibilities, but you should still take a few minutes to understand your rights as a legal employee in this state. If you are an employee under California law rather than an independent contractor, you have substantial legal rights. Federal and state laws protect California employees at every stage of employment from hiring through termination. If any of your employment rights are violated by an employer in this state, discuss your concerns immediately with an experienced Fresno employment lawyer.

Employers may not refuse to hire anyone based on factors like someone’s race, religion, gender, orientation, national origin, disability, or pregnancy. In the course of employment interviews, an employer may not ask about an applicant’s marital status, children, sexual orientation, or certain criminal arrests and records. Employers may hire whomever they please, but when they reject a job applicant, that rejection must be for job-related reasons unconnected to discrimination.

The current minimum wage in California is $9.00 per hour; it increases to $10.00 per hour on January 1, 2016. Some cities have established even higher minimum wages. Employees who receive tips still must be paid the minimum wage in California, and employers may not confiscate any part of an employee’s tips for any reason. Employers must also provide a reasonably safe and hazard-free work environment. In California, employees injured while working are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits without having to prove that anyone was negligent.

Legal employees in California also have comprehensive legal protections against harassment, employer retaliation, and wrongful termination. You may have even more employment rights depending on where you work – whether for a large or a small company or in the public or private sector. If you believe that your employment rights are being violated by a California employer, get legal help and speak with an experienced Fresno employment lawyer immediately.