A recent UCLA study shows that more than 80 percent of California workers who are owed back wages never recover them, even after a court order.
Backers of the bill say overtime, minimum wage and meal break violations are a big drain on the state’s low wage workers, many of whom are immigrants who don’t know their rights. Assembly member Bonnie Lowenthal is the bill’s author.
“This bill says if you’re paying your employees less than the minimum wage, or not paying them for all the hours they work, or violating overtime requirements, the employer will be held accountable," she says.
The UCLA study estimates that low-wage workers in Los Angeles County alone lose about 12 percent of their yearly income to wage theft. That amounts to one billion dollars in annual lost wages.
“This is an opportunity to help bring up the status of a class of workers that are often ignored," says Lowenthal.
Opponents of the bill say it could tie up employers’ property over minor wage disputes and make it harder for them to do business.
The bill is scheduled for a vote in the Assembly Appropriations committee this week.
Women in California politics, protesting sexual harassment and abuse at the Capitol, distrust the response from legislative leaders.
A man drew a weapon during routine security screening at the U.S. Capitol Visitor's Center and was shot by police, Capitol Police Chief Matthew Verderosa said at a news conference. No officers were injured, he added.
Supporters celebrated when a bill allowing for physician-assisted suicide in California was signed into law. But the tactics used to pass the law will likely delay its implementation.
Governor Jerry Brown has signed off an agreement with two of California’s labor unions.
California children under the age of 2 will now be required to ride in rear-facing child seats. That was one of several bills signed into law today by Gov. Jerry Brown.