California workers should be aware of wage theft

Frank S. Clowney III

Employers have gotten negative attention in recent years for what some call a crime that’s never discussed. It’s often referred to as wage theft, and employees have lost a combined $8 billion in yearly income from employers cheating their employees out of pay for hours worked.

Wage theft has become rampant in recent years

Some may ask why some employers do this? One reason is that employees often don’t know their hourly wages are being taken from them. The other is that some employers have become greedier over time. That’s because it can be cheaper for them to maintain their preferred business practices rather than comply with federal or state labor laws.

How employees can identify wage theft

If a worker’s employer participates in these behaviors, their actions may be considered wage theft:

  • The employer illegally deducts money from workers’ paychecks.
  • They force employees to work through their lunch breaks.
  • The employer steals tips or commissions from the employee.
  • The employer pays the employee outside of their timesheet system.
  • The employer forces the employee to work through mandatory screening processes.
  • The employee is forced by the employer to work off of the clock.

Workers in California should know their rights

Here in California, it is against the law for employers to deduct money from an employee’s paycheck for damaged or lost property and other expenses. If workers notice that employers are subjecting their workers to such mistreatment, they may want to seek legal counsel. An experienced and proactive employment law attorney can hold employers accountable for their actions in court.