As an employee in California, you are entitled to certain protections under the law. One of these protections is that your employer must pay you for all the hours you work. Unfortunately, wage theft is a problem in California, and many employees don’t provide their workers with the full amount of wages they’re legally entitled to.
How does wage theft occur?
One of the most common ways that wage theft occurs is when employers don’t pay their employees for working overtime. Employees who work more than 40 hours in a week are typically entitled to overtime pay, but many employers don’t follow the wage and hour law.
Another common way wage theft occurs is when employers don’t pay their employees for all the hours they’ve worked. This can include not paying employees for time spent on break or working off the clock.
Wage theft can also include paying employees less than minimum wage. In California, the minimum wage is currently $15 per hour, but some employers pay their employees much less.
What to do if you experience wage theft
If you experience wage theft, there are a few things you can do. First, document everything. Keep track of the hours you work, how much you’re paid and any other relevant information. This will be helpful if you decide to take legal action against your employer.
Second, talk to your employer. Many times, wage theft occurs because of a misunderstanding or mistake. If you talk to your employer, they may be willing to fix the problem.
Third, file a claim with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement. The DLSE is responsible for enforcing California’s wage and hour laws. Filing a claim with the DLSE may help you get the wages you’re owed.
Fourth, you may have the option to file a lawsuit. If your employer refuses to pay you the wages you’re owed, you can file a lawsuit against them. This is usually a last resort, but it may be necessary to get the wages you’re entitled to.
Wage theft is a serious problem in California, and it’s important for employees to know their rights. If you think you’ve been a victim of wage theft, take action to get the wages that you’re entitled to.