2024 California Employment Laws

Submitted by pec on

California has some of the nation’s most worker-friendly labor laws. The following overview covers some of the ways those laws are changing and expanding in 2024.

Workers in California should be aware of these changes. If a worker doesn’t know how the law has expanded, it may be easier for an employer to take advantage of them.

That doesn’t need to happen. If you suspect an employer has broken the law, consider speaking with a California employment law attorney to discuss legal remedies.

Minimum Wage Increases

The 2023 minimum wage in California was $15.50 an hour. As of January 1, 2024, California’s minimum wage will be $16 per hour.

The minimum wage increase applies to all employees and employers. All employers must comply with the increase, regardless of how many employees work for their company.

The minimum wage is set to increase to an even greater degree for fast food workers. Starting April 1, 2024, the minimum wage for fast food workers in California is $20 per hour.

Labor Code Alternative Enforcement

Up until recently, the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement in California has been responsible for enforcing the laws and provisions of California employment laws. Assembly Bill 594 amends the Labor Code to allow public prosecutors to prosecute violations of the Labor Code, or to enforce its laws independently.

If public prosecutors recover money in these cases, that money must be applied to any payments that affected workers may be eligible to receive. Public prosecutors may only take legal action to address violations occurring within their jurisdictions. These changes take effect January 1, 2024.

Some employee contracts may place restrictions on how employees can address perceived violations of their rights. Under the new law, those restrictions would not stop a prosecutor from addressing a violation if they chose to.

Noncompete Agreements in Employment

January 1, 2024 will also usher in expanded restrictions on non-compete agreements in California. Per Senate Bill 699 and Assembly Bill 1076, a non-compete clause is no longer legal, valid, or enforceable in California, even if it was signed in another state. The law will also ban employers from attempting to enforce non-compete agreements, even in circumstances where employment occurred outside of California.

In addition, it is no longer legal for employers in California to include non-compete agreements in employee contracts. Any employees a company hired after January 1, 2022, must receive notification that any previous non-compete agreements in their contracts aren’t enforceable. Only in very rare and specific circumstances does California’s Labor Code allow for non-compete agreements.

Get Help From an Employment Law Attorney

Understanding your rights as a worker in California is vital. Be aware, not all employers abide by the law, particularly when doing so requires adjusting to these types of changes.

Do you believe your employer has violated your rights? Legal remedies may be available if so. An employment law attorney who takes cases in California can review your case and explain your legal options. They may also provide representation if you decide to hire them. For more information, take the Free Case Evaluation to get connected with an independent lawyer who subscribes to the website today.

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