YEO Policy Books 2015 Policy Book - Page 43

Wage Theft Protection Act Origin: California State Legislature Bill Name/Number: Assembly Bill No. 469 Link: Click here Summary: This bill would provide that in addition to being subject to a civil penalty, any employer who pays or causes to be paid to any employee a wage less than the minimum fixed by an order of the commission shall be subject to paying restitution of wages to the employee. Talking Points & Important Information: • Wage theft refers to circumstances when employers do not pay their workers the minimum wage or overtime pay, do not allow required meal and rest breaks, or force off-the-clock work without pay. Workers may know they are not being paid enough, or not paid for all their time worked, but often fear retaliation from their employer should they try to assert their rights. • Each year, California loses approximately $8 billion in tax revenues to wage theft, and the California Labor Commissioner’s Office has investigated millions of dollars’ worth of violations committed by, among others, a hospital, assisted living providers, and a construction project. • Among the most likely victims of wage theft are nonunion workers, people who don’t speak English, and immigrants who lack an understanding of their rights. A survey of low-wage workers in Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles, performed by the National Employment Labor Project, reveals that close to 85 percent of foreign-born Asians, 78.8 percent of women, and nearly 85 percent of undocumented workers have experienced overtime violations. 2015 POLICY BOOK STATE LEVEL PAGE 43