08/27/2014 (press release: CAWageHourLaw) // Eric Grover
If two Los Angeles City Council members have their way, a new ordinance will be implemented that will carry real consequences against business who commit wage theft, reports Los Angeles wage and hour lawyer Eric Grover of the Keller Grover law firm. http://www.kellergrover.com/ericgrover.htm
Councilman Paul Koretz and Councilman Gil Cedillo began pushing for the new city ordinance on Tuesday, June 24, 2014, which would give Los Angeles workers, another avenue for recourse against their employers who cheated them out of their hard earned wages.
“If you steal from a store, you go to jail,” said Councilman Paul Koretz, as reported by the Los Angeles Times. “But employers who cheat their workers out of their hard-earned wages usually get away with it.”
The Councilman revealed that they want to “level the playing field for businesses that follow the rules,” the Los Angeles Times reported.
Wage theft occurs when employers fail to pay federally mandated minimum wages, overtime wages, make illegal paycheck deductions and force workers to skip meal and rest breaks, or work off the clock.
According to a UCLA study conducted four years ago, the majority of surveyed workers in Los Angeles had been affected by one form of wage theft or another, at a higher rate than New York or Chicago.
“Los Angeles is really the wage-theft capital of the country,” said Tia Koonse, legal and policy research manager at the UCLA Labor Center said to the Los Angeles Times. “Workers are simply afraid to come forward.”
The details of the new wage rules are unknown at this time, but workers’ rights activists have suggested that the ordinance should revoke business licenses or permits from wage theft-committing businesses, as well as creating a local agency that would be responsible for investigating wage theft claims.
While there are already state wage and hour laws in place to prevent wage theft from occurring, the system is broken, as it is often ineffective and the California labor commissioner’s process of handling these claims is too slow. In fact, a UCLA Labor Center and the National Employment Law Project study revealed that 83 percent of California workers who won state judgments were unable to recover their lost wages, often because the business had closed.
“It’s no secret that wage theft is a huge problem that are not only faced by Los Angeles workers, but by workers across the United States. But Los Angeles is headed in the right direction by considering new ordinances that would carry real consequences for wage theft-committing businesses,” says Grover, a Los Angeles employment lawyer.
The California wage and hour attorneys at the Los Angeles law firm of Keller Grover have been helping victims of wage theft recover lost wages since 2005. To learn more about wage laws and if you’ve been a victim contact, Keller Grover at 888.601. 6939.