Updated: Nov 17
Knowing Your Employment Rights As You Work From Home In California
The number of people working from home has expanded considerably due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Every state, including California, has lately enacted new laws to reflect this new reality. If you work in California, you should be aware of the new labor rules that took effect on January 1, 2022, particularly those that apply to working from home.
Many businesses have been forced to make significant adjustments, which has sadly resulted in many employees facing various difficulties during the last two years. If you feel your employer has broken any applicable federal or state employment regulations, you should consult California employment lawyers as soon as possible.
What Are The New Employment Laws in California?
A new bill provides access to paid sick leave in California for anyone affected by COVID-19:
Employees who are placed on COVID-19 isolation or quarantine (or who are instructed by a health expert to self-isolate or quarantine) are entitled to paid sick leave.
Employees and family members who attend immunization or booster shot appointments are entitled to paid sick leave for the time spent there and recovering from any early side effects.
Employees who cannot work due to adverse side effects from injections are entitled to compensation for sick leave.
Employees who must care for family members in COVID-19-related isolation or quarantine orders may be eligible for paid sick leave.
If an employee's child cannot attend a school or a childcare center due to closure due to COVID-19, the employee is entitled to compensate sick leave.
Many remote employees can often manage self-isolation and quarantine while concentrating on their regular tasks. However, if their symptoms prevent them from fulfilling their job obligations or if a family member is unwell, they can still use the new law's paid sick leave provisions. The new rule does provide limits, including a 40-hour limit for employees who test positive for COVID-19 and another 40-hour limit for employees who must comply with isolation or quarantine orders or care for family members.
Different provisions for various categories of employees are included in the new law. Unfortunately, some firms misclassify employees to avoid providing paid sick leave, paying them fairly, and withholding other benefits designated for full-time employees.
While paid sick leave can be helpful for employees who only need a few days off for covered reasons, all California employees have the right to unpaid absence in the event of a medical emergency. In addition, employees (who work for employers with 50 or more employees) can take unpaid leave to recover from their own medical conditions or care for family members under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Their employers must keep their positions open when they return to work.
New laws for 2022 include expanded access to paid sick leave in California and the state minimum wage and access to mandated employer notices. California's state minimum wage will be $15 per hour beginning January 1, 2022, and $14 per hour for firms with fewer than 25 employees.
California employers must comply with the new minimum wage increase for remote and on-site personnel. If you believe your boss or employer has not paid you the legally necessary state minimum wage, you should set an appointment with a Los Angeles employment lawyer about your wage and hour issue.
Employers can now communicate necessary posts to employees via email, thanks to Senate Bill 657. For example, many firms must have specified posters prominently posted in their offices. This new rule allows employers to send these postings to remote employees via email. As a result, all employees, even those who work from home, will have simple access to the information contained in all mandatory notices under this new law.
What Impact Will the New Laws Have on Those Who Work From Home?
Employers have the same legal responsibility to workers who work from home as they do to employees who work on-site in most circumstances. Therefore, if you suspect your employer has broken any applicable employment law by citing your work-from-home status as a reason, you should consult an Employment Lawyer in Los Angeles to determine the best course of action.
Other Relevant Questions On Work From Home Policy in California
There are a lot of ways these policies affect employment in general. But, from medical leave rights to California laws on work schedules and hours, work-from-home policies have adjusted to our new reality.
That said, here are some more specific (but equally important) details you need to know about these new adjustments:
Can My Employer Force Me To Go Back To The Office?
Many employers have begun to revert to on-site work requirements. Therefore, if your employer requires you to return to work, you will certainly have to do so.
However, if you believe working from home is a reasonable accommodation for a medical condition or handicap, your employer should be willing to work with you to find a solution.
Can Non-Exempt Employees Work From Home?
"Exempt" and "non-exempt" are terms used in California to describe full-time employee rights and benefits, particularly when it comes to overtime compensation. Employees can work from home in California, and the terms of their employment may indicate whether they are exempt or non-exempt.
If a non-exempt employee works from home, they must be paid overtime when they spend working is considered overtime.
What If My Employer Is Infringing on New Labor Regulations?
It can be challenging to understand California's labor regulations. If you suspect your employer misrepresented your exemption status, failed to pay you properly under the new minimum wage law, or illegally interfered with your ability to claim paid sick leave under the new SB 114 provisions, you should get legal advice from an Employment Attorney in Los Angeles as soon as possible.
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