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.
The California Legislature is expected to adjourn its two-year session just past midnight Friday. It's an early end to what has so far been a surprisingly calm final week.
California's Senate passed a bill that would require public institutions of higher education to adopt procedures to prevent campus sexual assault and domestic violence, and to assist victims.
A bill that would require toy guns to be painted with markings to show they are fake has passed the state legislature.
The California Legislature’s “gut-and-amend” process is highly criticized, but lawmakers defend it as necessary.
Sources tell Capital Public Radio that a deal has been reached for legislation that would tighten regulations for ride-sharing companies.