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Did your employer misclassify your work status?

You've been working for a particular California company as an independent contractor for quite some time. You are happy with your wages and generally satisfied with your work environment, except that you believe you should actually be classified as an employee of the company, not an independent worker. Some people might ask you why you care as long as you have a job and are earning income.

You can tell them that you are definitely not the only one who cares because the Internal Revenue Service takes misclassification of workers quite seriously. There are several factors that help determine whether you're a de facto employee or a freelancer. Understanding the difference and knowing what options are available to help rectify a problem situation can keep the IRS off your back and your employer on the straight and narrow.

Illegal interview questions may lead to employment discrimination

As a woman, you may already feel as if the deck is stacked against you, especially when it comes to employment opportunities. Even if you feel that you have the qualifications and skills necessary to obtain an open position or to receive a promotion, you may feel that your superiors unnecessarily scrutinize your work, or you may feel that you were treated unfairly during the interview process.

It is true that employment discrimination can occur even before getting hired. In some cases, the person conducting the interview may ask you certain questions that you feel do not pertain to the job or have any other connection to the interview. It may interest you to know that some questions are illegal to ask. Still, you may wonder the best way to handle these inquiries in the event that they do come up.

What's new for California employees in 2018?

As an employee here in California, you enjoy certain rights enacted by the state and the federal governments. Some of them have been in place for decades, but the legislature continues to add others as the legislature decides that you need additional protections.

For instance, you have the right to a workplace free from discrimination, harassment and retaliation. Laws also exist to protect your paycheck so that you receive the pay you earn. Last year, the legislature passed some laws that took effect on Jan. 1 that may apply to you.

Will I lose my job if someone in my family gets sick?

Your job is important to your family. With your paycheck, you pay the rent, buy food and provide everything your family needs to survive. If you lost your job, you know how difficult it would be to find work again. Losing your job may be a constant worry to you, especially if a family member needs medical attention or some other problems arise.

Did you know that the law requires your employer to allow you time off to take care of your family under certain circumstances? If you work in a company that employs more than 50 people for at least 20 weeks a year, you probably qualify for the benefits of the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Have you been the victim of workplace retaliation?

For many years, you may have enjoyed the comfort of your job and the duties that you perform. You may even feel that you worked hard enough to achieve a position that allows you to feel successful and earn an income to support yourself and your family. Recently, however, you may have begun experiencing negative behaviors from your employer, and you may wonder if he or she has started retaliating against you.

Though you love your job and your place of employment, you may have come across some unseemly actions that needed reporting, or you may have had to participate in some sort of related investigation. Because you consider yourself a good worker, you may have done your part to aid in rectifying any wrongdoing. However, your employer may not have appreciated your actions, and you may now feel that your job is in jeopardy.

Has your work environment become hostile?

When you first felt uncomfortable at work, you may have tried to shake it off and forget the incident ever happened. After all (or so you told yourself) most California workplaces include some people whose senses of humor are a bit skewed. Everything seemed okay, until it happened again, and again. Before long, each time you encountered a particular official at work, your stomach knotted and you felt like you might become ill.

There may even have been a few times when you went home early after reporting that you felt ill. Workplace discrimination is no small matter. Not only can it destroy your career but it can have extremely adverse effects on your physical and emotional health as well.

What should I do if my boss mistreats me?

Your job may be difficult. If you work long hours doing heavy lifting or standing on your feet all day, you may think it is a hard way to make a living, but you aren't afraid of hard work. You think of your family, the things they need and the things you want to be able to give them. So you go to work, and you try not to complain.

However, if you think that your boss treats you differently than the way he or she treats your co-workers, you may feel confused or angry. If your boss is unkind or makes unfair decisions about your duties, your workload or your pay, you may be a victim of discrimination.

Understanding regulations relating to work breaks

Working numerous hours a day often proves tiring. Though you may enjoy your work, you likely enjoy down time and the ability to take a break when necessary. Unfortunately, some workers may have their rights violated if employers do not comply with employment laws relating to meal and rest breaks. Certain stipulations apply to requirements relating to employers providing breaks.

Have you been the victim of wage theft?

As an employee, you work hard to earn your rightful wages. You are entitled to fair compensation for the hours worked or the tasks completed. Therefore, if you find that your employer has cheated you out of your compensation due to wage theft, you may wish to determine what steps could help you rectify these wrongful actions.

There are several different ways in which you and other workers could wrongfully lose out on pay. Awareness regarding types of illegal actions can help you recognize when employers fail to comply with wage laws and regulations.

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