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.
California lawmakers are looking for ways to address some of the challenges faced by male minorities in the state.
Pro-choice lawmakers are backing a bill in the California Assembly that seeks to ensure pregnant women know they have access to abortions.
The California Medical Association has changed its position on a physician aid in dying bill currently in the state Senate.
Governor Jerry Brown is encouraging regional governments around the world to follow California’s lead on climate change. On Tuesday, he and international leaders signed an agreement to reduce carbon emissions.
Not everyone is happy with the revised budget proposed by California Governor Jerry Brown. But he does have the approval of the Community College system. Brown attended the Community College Board of Governors meeting today.