In a related blog, our Carson labor and employment attorneys discussed recent wage and hour legislature introduced by Congressman Phil Hare, called the Wage Theft Prevention and Community Partnership Act, aimed to fight the occurrence of wage theft in the workplace--where employees are being robbed of their hard earned wages by not being paid properly for their work.
In the State of California, Governor Schwarzenegger recently vetoed two bills that aimed to fight employers from engaging in wage theft. According to the Los Angeles Times, the first wage theft measure, supported by the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation, would have penalized employers who neglect to pay workers all of their wages within 90 days after their employment ends, with a new misdemeanor crime. The second wage theft bill would have reportedly increased the maximum damage amount that an employee could receive in a wage-type legal issue or state enforcement action.
The bills were reportedly introduced after a UCLA study, that our Santa Ana labor and employment attorneys discussed in a recent blog, found that wage theft costs workers in Los Angeles County around $26 million every week. The groundbreaking study, released last year, found that workers in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York, experienced massive wage and hour law violations in low-wage industries. The UCLA study found that 15% of low-income worker's wages are taken from the workers each week.
Mark Schacht, the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation's deputy director, stated that Schwarzenegger and his Chamber of Commerce allies know that these vetoes continue to defend the illegal practice of wage theft in California. In his messages about the vetoes, Schwarzenegger reportedly claimed that both bills were not needed.