As we approach the summer season, many Californians are bracing themselves for deadly wildfires. The frequency and intensity of recent fires has put many Los Angeles residents on edge. Thousands of people will be forced to leave their homes and take time away from work. Fortunately, California employment law gives employees the right to certain accommodations in the event of a natural disaster. These accommodations include:
- Leaves of absence. Certain leave laws may come into effect during the event of a natural disaster. For example, your employer might be obligated to provide you with school or childcare leave if schooling or childcare is unavailable after a natural disaster. Also, your employer must permit you time off from work if you are an emergency responder. This includes volunteer firefighters, reserve police officers and emergency rescue personnel. However, your employer is not required to compensate you for taking time off to be an emergency responder.
- Working remotely. Every employer in California should have a disaster plan. This plan should include a list of employees that can work remotely in the event of an emergency. If you are a non-exempt employee, then you should follow your company’s time-keeping policy. This includes keeping detailed records of the time you spent working and taking the required rest and meal breaks. Employers are also required to reimburse employees for any reasonable business expenses associated with remote work.
- Payroll compliance. Natural disasters can make it difficult for an employer to timely and accurately run payroll. For example, there are often reporting delays and system issues that can adversely affect an employee’s paycheck. Under California law, your employer must pay you for any time that he or she knows that you worked. For example, if your employer has reasonable knowledge that you worked an eight hour day, but did not receive a time card, then he or she is legally obligated to pay you for that eight hours.
Questions About California Employment Law During Wildfires? Our Los Angeles Employment Attorneys Can Help
Wildfires have become an inescapable part of life in California. Employees should know about the workplace protections available to them after a natural disaster. Similarly, employers should have a disaster plan that helps them remain in compliance with California employment law.
At the Kesluk, Silverstein, Jacob & Morrison, P.C., our attorneys have decades of experience litigating California employment law cases. We recognize that wildfires throughout the city of Los Angeles will place both employers and employees in tricky legal situations. Our goal is to protect the interests of California employees by ensuring that they are treated fairly during a natural disaster.
If you have any questions about California employment law during wildfires, then please contact us today at (310)273-3180 for a free initial consultation. You can also contact us online and tell us more about your particular situation. Our Los Angeles employment attorneys look forward to meeting with you in person and addressing your legal concerns.