Bakersfield Employment Attorneys
Our experienced trial attorneys stand ready to fight for the rights of the residents of Bakersfield.
Bakersfield is a city in Kern County, California. Bakersfield is the largest city and county seat of Kern County. The city has a population of more than 200,000 residents. It lies within the zip codes 93220, 93301–93309, 93311–93314, 93380–93390, 93399. Bakersfield, California, has a rich and diverse history that dates back centuries.Before the arrival of European settlers, the area now known as Bakersfield was inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Yokuts and Kawaiisu people. These indigenous groups lived in the fertile San Joaquin Valley, engaging in agriculture and hunting. In the late 18th century, Spanish explorers and missionaries began to enter the region. The Spanish established the El Camino Viejo trade route, which passed through the future Bakersfield area. During Mexico’s rule of California following its independence from Spain, the Mexican land grant system distributed vast land holdings. The Rancho El Tejon and Rancho Paso de las Estrellas were two of the significant land grants in the area. In the mid-19th century, following the Mexican-American War, California became a part of the United States. The discovery of gold in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the 1850s brought an influx of settlers to the region. The city’s name, “Bakersfield,” is said to have been inspired by Colonel Thomas Baker, a local settler and politician. He established a way station for travelers and freight haulers in the area. Bakersfield’s development was significantly influenced by the arrival of the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1874. This railroad connection facilitated the transportation of goods and agricultural products, enabling the growth of the local economy. Bakersfield became a major center for agriculture, with crops like wheat, cotton, and, later, oil, becoming essential to the city’s prosperity. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, oil was discovered in the surrounding areas, marking the beginning of Bakersfield’s association with the petroleum industry. The Kern River Oil Field, one of the largest in California, attracted oil companies and boosted the local economy. The city’s population grew, and Bakersfield became known as an oil town. During the mid-20th century, Bakersfield continued to be a hub for agriculture. The city’s location in the fertile San Joaquin Valley made it a major producer of crops such as grapes, citrus, and almonds. Additionally, country music played a significant role in the city’s cultural scene, earning Bakersfield the nickname “Nashville West.” In recent decades, Bakersfield has expanded and diversified its economy. It remains an important center for agriculture, oil production, and energy industries. The city has also seen growth in healthcare, education, and manufacturing sectors. Bakersfield’s population has continued to increase, making it one of the fastest-growing cities in California. Today, Bakersfield is a vibrant city with a diverse population, a mix of agricultural and industrial activities, and a growing cultural scene. It continues to play a crucial role in California’s Central Valley and is known for its warm climate, friendly community, and contributions to the state’s economy.
We Offer Effective Representation To Bakersfield Residents In The Following Matters:
Featured Employment Case:
Marquez v. City of Long Beach, 32 Cal. App. 5th 552, 244 Cal. Rptr. 3d 57 (2019)
City employees brought putative class action against city, alleging violations of Labor Code and wage orders based on alleged failure to pay employees wages at or above statewide minimum wage. The Superior Court sustained city’s demurrer and dismissed action. Employees appealed. The Court of Appeal held that: 1 minimum wage requirement of statute and Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC) orders conflicted with city charter and city council enactments, requiring court to determine which law applied to employees; 2 minimum wage for workers within state was matter of statewide concern, as could support finding that state minimum wage law prevailed over conflicting city charter; 3 state minimum wage requirement was appropriately tailored to address statewide concern in health and welfare of workers; and 4 application of state minimum wage requirement to employees’ pay did not unconstitutionally impair memorandum of understanding between employees and city, which set employees’ wages at less than state minimum wage. Within the opinion the Court provided the following summary of minimum wage law in California: “Over a century ago, the Legislature responded to the problem of inadequate wages and poor working conditions by establishing the IWC, giving it authority to investigate various industries and promulgate wage orders establishing minimum wages, maximum work hours, and conditions of labor.” (Kilby v. CVS Pharmacy, Inc., supra, 63 Cal.4th at p. 10, 201 Cal.Rptr.3d 1, 368 P.3d 554.) The Legislature created the IWC in 1913, and delegated to it the power to set minimum wages and working conditions for women and children. **63 (Martinez v. Combs (2010) 49 Cal.4th 35, 50, 109 Cal.Rptr.3d 514, 231 P.3d 259 (Martinez), citing Stats. 1913, ch. 324, § 13, p. 637.) The 1913 act charged the IWC with setting labor conditions in accordance with “ ‘the comfort, health, safety and welfare of such women and minors’ ” and setting “for each industry ‘[a] minimum wage to be paid to women and minors … adequate to supply … the necessary cost of proper living and to maintain [their] health and welfare.’ ” (Martinez, at pp. 54-55, 109 Cal.Rptr.3d 514, 231 P.3d 259, quoting Stats. 1913, ch. 324, §§ 3, subd. (a), & 6, subd. (a), par. 1, pp. 633-634.) The same year, the Legislature “propos[ed] to the voters a successful constitutional amendment confirming the Legislature’s authority” to regulate the minimum wage and to delegate authority to the IWC, which the voters enacted as former article XX, section 17 ½ of the California Constitution. (Martinez, supra, 49 Cal.4th at p. 54 & fn. 20, 109 Cal.Rptr.3d 514, 231 P.3d 259; accord, Pacific G. & E. Co. v. Industrial Acc. Com. (1919) 180 Cal. 497, 500, 181 P. 788.) The argument in support of the constitutional amendment was that protected employees “ ‘should be certain of a living wage—a wage that insures for them the necessary shelter, wholesome food and sufficient clothing,’ ” and “that substandard wages frequently led to ill health and moral degeneracy.” (Martinez, at p. 54, 109 Cal.Rptr.3d 514, 231 P.3d 259, quoting Ballot Pamp., Gen. Elec. (Nov. 3, 1914) argument in favor of Assem. Const. Amend. No. 90, p. 29.) The IWC set the first statewide minimum wage in 1916 by issuing industry- and occupation-wide wage orders, applicable to women and children. (Brinker Restaurant Corp. v. Superior Court (2012) 53 Cal.4th 1004, 1026, 139 Cal.Rptr.3d 315, 273 P.3d 513 (Brinker); Industrial Welfare Com. v. Superior Court (1980) 27 Cal.3d 690, 700, 166 Cal.Rptr. 331, 613 P.2d 579.) The minimum wage for women and children was raised from time to time. In 1972 the Legislature extended the protections of the minimum wage to all employees, and “expanded the IWC’s jurisdiction to include all employees, male and female, in response to federal legislation barring employment discrimination because of sex.” (Martinez, supra, 49 Cal.4th at p. 55, 109 Cal.Rptr.3d 514, 231 P.3d 259, citing Stats. 1972, ch. 1122, § 13, p. 2156.) In the following year, the Legislature “ ‘restated the commission’s responsibility in even broader terms,’ ” including an ongoing duty to review the adequacy of the minimum wage. (Martinez, at p. 55, 109 Cal.Rptr.3d 514, 231 P.3d 259.) Following this enlarged mandate, the voters “amended the state Constitution to confirm the Legislature’s authority to confer on the IWC ‘legislative, executive, and judicial powers.’ ” (Martinez, supra, 49 Cal.4th at p. 55, 109 Cal.Rptr.3d 514, 231 P.3d 259, quoting Cal. Const., art. XIV, § 1 [added by Assem. Const. Amend. No. 40 (1975–1976 Reg. Sess.), as approved by voters (Prop. 14), Primary Elec. (June 8, 1976)].) The 1976 constitutional amendment further provided “[t]he Legislature may provide for minimum wages and for the general welfare of employees ….” (Cal. Const., art. XIV, § 1.) ‘The IWC’s wage orders are to be accorded the same dignity as statutes. They are “presumptively valid” legislative regulations of the employment relationship [citation], regulations that must be given “independent effect” separate and apart from any statutory enactments [citation]. To the extent a wage order and a statute overlap, we will seek to harmonize them, as we would with any two statutes.’ ” ( **64 Mendoza v. Nordstrom, Inc. (2017) 2 Cal.5th 1074, 1082, 216 Cal.Rptr.3d 889, 393 P.3d 375, quoting Brinker, supra, 53 Cal.4th at p. 1027, 139 Cal.Rptr.3d 315, 273 P.3d 513.) The IWC continued periodically to raise the minimum wage by amendments to its wage orders. On October 23, 2000 the IWC promulgated a wage order setting the minimum wage as of January 1, 2001 ($6.25 per hour) and January 1, 2002 ($6.75 per hour). (Wage Order No. MW-2001; Cal. Code Regs., tit. 8, § 11000.) That order also made the minimum wage provisions in wage orders regulating certain industries applicable for the first time to “employees directly employed by the State or any political subdivision thereof, including any city, county, or special district.” (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 8, §§ 11040, subd. 1(B) [Wage Order No. 4-2001 governing employees in professional, technical, clerical, mechanical, and “similar” occupations] & 11100, subd. 1(C) [Wage Order No. 10-2001 governing employees in the amusement and recreation industry].) “The Legislature defunded the IWC in 2004, however its wage orders remain in effect.” (Murphy v. Kenneth Cole Productions, Inc. (2007) 40 Cal.4th 1094, 1102, fn. 4, 56 Cal.Rptr.3d 880, 155 P.3d 284; accord, Flowers v. Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (2015) 243 Cal.App.4th 66, 74, fn. 2, 196 Cal.Rptr.3d 352 (Flowers).) After defunding the IWC, the Legislature began in 2006 to set a statutory minimum wage, made applicable to employees through amendment and republication of the IWC wage orders to be consistent with the statutory minimum wage. (Stats. 2006, ch. 230, § 2, pp. 2078-2079 [Assem. Bill No. 1835]; see § 1182.13, subd. (b) [“The Department of Industrial Relations shall amend and republish the [IWC’s] wage orders to be consistent with … Section 1182.12.”].) In 2013 the Legislature again enacted graduated increases in the minimum wage, effective July 1, 2014 ($9 per hour) and January 1, 2016 ($10 per hour). (Stats. 2013, ch. 351, § 1 [Assem. Bill No. 10].) Most recently, effective January 1, 2017 the Legislature set a series of graduated increases in the minimum wage to take effect each year on January 1, culminating in a $15 per hour minimum wage for all covered employees effective January 1, 2023, with limited exceptions. (See § 1182.12, subd. (b)(1)-(2).) Section 1182.12, subdivision (b)(3), also provides that “[f]or purposes of this subdivision [setting the minimum wage], ‘employer’ includes the state, political subdivisions of the state, and municipalities.”
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