Wage theft occurs when an employer refuses to pay the correct amount of wages that an employee has earned. In California and across the country, this type of theft has affected the livelihood of millions of workers. There are certain types of workers who are impacted the most by wage theft.
Who it affects most
Wage theft can affect any workers who earn wages in the form of checks, cash or bank deposits. One form of theft involves falsifying payroll documents to show incorrect earnings. Another form of theft involves showing the correct wages on paper but stealing funds from the employee’s account and hoping the employee will not notice the discrepancies.
This type of law violation tends to affect low-wage earners the most who work in retail, restaurant, construction, agriculture and warehouse industries. In 2019, California estimated that more than $77.4 million was stolen from employees across the state. Immigrants and undocumented workers make up a large portion of earners who are affected by this problem.
How to get help
California’s wage and hour laws offer some of the strongest protections in the world for workers. However, employees need to take steps to enforce their rights. The best way to do that is to talk to a California employment law attorney. In many cases, wage theft is not an isolated incident, and multiple workers are affected. An experienced employment law attorney can investigate the matter and help obtain the wages that you and your coworkers are owed.
Important: In California, if you are an undocumented immigrant, you still have employment law rights. Do not hesitate to talk to an employment law attorney if your wages have been stolen by your employer.