Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Most Common Workplace Issues

Some of the most common workplace issues in Los Angeles stem out of the lack of knowledge of employee rights under federal and California state laws.

Most of the time, employers are not even aware that some of their actions are already undermining the rights of their employees in the workplace.

This leads to some conflict and it can affect the performance of the employees or it can create a stressful working environment.

To avoid such conflicts, employers can familiarize themselves on certain rights of their employees in the workplace.

Here are some of the most common workplace issues:

• Overtime

Under the law, employees are only required to render 8 hours of work per day or the equivalent of 40 hours per week.

Any work done beyond the 40 hours already rendered by the employee should be paid as overtime.

• Unpaid / Delayed Salary

It is the employer’s duty to pay their employees on time under the terms of California state laws.

If an employee’s salary is delayed, the employer may be violating state laws.

The employee can also report the incident with the state labor department.

• Other Duties as Required

Although most job descriptions includes the line “other duties required”, it is generally understood that it should not take more than five percent of the total working time.

Other duties should also fall within the skill range of an employee and should not involve duties that they are not trained for or is out of the normal range of duties of the employee.

An example would be asking a programmer to clean the toilet. That is a clear “duty” that is out of the programmer’s skill range.

• Transfers

Another workplace issue is when an employee is forced to transfer to another position either temporarily or permanently.

Requests for transfers should be a mutual agreement between the employer and the employee.

The employee can choose to decline the position unless the previous position was abolished and the employee is being redeployed.

• Sudden changes in work practices

It is generally required that employees should be notified at least one month before any changes in the workplace.

And even then, the changes should not result in an unreasonable increase in workload, unfair changes in the roster, and additional higher level of duties without equivalent additional compensation.


If you encountered any of the workplace issues above, you can follow some of these tips to have an idea on how to handle such situations.

• Review the terms of your employment contract. From there you may see if certain terms of the agreement have been violated.

• If you are part of a union then you can report your experience with them as well. A union’s main purpose is to take care of the welfare of its members. They can advise you as well if your employer have broken any terms of the collective bargaining agreement.

• Consult with human resources. Clarify the policies of the company regarding your situation and ask about the company’s grievance system.

• Consult with an employment attorney. The attorney should be able to tell you your rights under federal and the California state laws.

About The Author
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