CALIFORNIA 2018 – THE YEAR OF WAGE THEFT, WORKERS RIGHTS, AND FIRED EMPLOYEES GETTING FINANCIAL JUSTICE!

WAGE THEFT: MOST CALIFORNIA EMPLOYEES HAVE NO IDEA THAT THEIR EMPLOYER IS STEALING THEIR WAGES…

WHAT IS WAGE THEFT?

In broad terms, wage theft is the non-payment or underpayment of employees for hours worked, whether intentional or not. It can include any of the following:

  • Employers paying out less than the minimum wage
  • Paying employees the tipped minimum wage for non-tipped work (e.g. Paying a server $2.13 per hour for doing side work like polishing silverware or cleaning glasses)
  • Refusing to provide overtime pay
  • Failing to give workers meal breaks
  • Requiring employees to do off-the-clock work

A truly shocking report came out in 2018. The report detailed that many top U.S. corporations—from Walmart to Bank of America to AT&T—”have fattened their profits by forcing employees to work off the clock or depriving them of required overtime pay,” based on a review of labor lawsuits and enforcement actions. “Wage theft goes far beyond sweatshops, fast-food outlets, and retailers. It is built into the business model of a substantial portion of corporate America.”  Among the dozen most penalized corporations-

  • Walmart, with $1.4 billion in total settlements and fines…
  • Fedex with $502 million.
  • Bank of America ($381 million)
  • Wells Fargo ($205 million)
  • JPMorgan chase ($160 million)
  • State Farm Insurance ($140 million)

It’s not only large Fortune 100 companies that steal employee’s wages, smaller business like restaurants are also some of the largest thieves…

HOW DO RESTAURANTS GET AWAY WITH WAGE THEFT?

Wage theft permeates the restaurant industry, from fast food to fine dining. Though some cities and states have taken steps to protect workers, the problem is rampant: According to a recent New York Times editorial, the Department of Labor’s wage and hour division reported almost “84 percent of full-service restaurants it investigated between 2010 and 2012 had violated labor standards,” and those included wage and tip violations.” From failing to pay overtime to not giving meal breaks, there are numerous ways for employers to cheat workers out of money.

  • Wage theft: more than three-quarters (77%) of 337 restaurant employees surveyed have been victims of wage theft by their employers during the past year, and a third said it happens regularly. Restaurants’ varying systems of distributing tips are confusing and open to abuse.
  • Break violations & fraud: nearly a quarter of our sample said employers made them falsely record taking unpaid
  • Meal breaks. More than 80% reported violations of their legal rights to breaks, either working more than 6 hours without having a meal break or being prevented or discouraged from taking rest breaks.
  • Time theft & unstable schedules: most workers surveyed get their work schedules less than a week in advance and 85% get less than two weeks’ notice. Other common practices, such as on-call and open-ended scheduling, rob employees of their personal time.
  • Sick time & health: more than three-quarters (78%) of workers in the sample have gone to work when they’re sick, injured, or in pain, and 65% have done so repeatedly. Only 11% reported having any paid sick time, and only 17% get any health insurance from their jobs.
  • Discrimination:  wage theft most often targeted women, latinos, and “back-of-the-house” staff.

Among 337 San Diego County restaurant employees surveyed, 77% reported that employers had stolen their wages in at least one way during the past year. A third (33%) of the sample said their earnings were stolen by their employers regularly (always or often).

EMPLOYEE RIGHTS: DO YOU KNOW YOUR RIGHTS?

If you think that your employer has violated your rights let us start helping you immediately! Have you been wrongly fired or harassed? Not paid overtime? Forced to work through your breaks? Not reimbursed for business expenses? If the answer is yes to any of these questions — or you think your employer has otherwise violated your rights — let Lawyers for Employee and Consumer Rights help you recover money or other compensation you may be owed.

California’s workplace protection laws are among the country’s strongest. It was California that pioneered laws requiring that workers take uninterrupted meal and rest breaks in 1916. Other states and federal courts still look to California when defining workers’ rights and setting the rules employers must play by.

This is a summary of the most common employer violations that might entitle you to receiving money compensation, getting your job back, or making an employer follow the law. Many employees are experiencing violations of federal or California workplace-fairness laws without even knowing it. Oftentimes, though, workers rightly sense that something is wrong with the way employers are treating their workers.

One of our lawyers will help determine if you have a claim by phone. Or, contact us through ou ONLINE CHAT. There is no charge for speaking with our lawyers. Everything you tell us is strictly confidential.

QUESTIONS?

Learn more about your employee rights. Lawyers for Employee and Consumer Rights (LFECR) is a leading California employment law firm. With 40+ remote attorneys, LFECR is able to work on behalf of clients anywhere in California. Fired unfairly? Your free consult awaits! Call 888-625-0959. IM our Facebook page.

 

 

 

 

LOWER WAGE WORKERS AT HIGHER RISK OF HAVING WAGES STOLEN

IS IT SHOCKING THAT CORPORATE AMERICA IS CAUGHT STEALING?

Maybe not. However, it is quite shocking that Corporate America is stealing from the employees that help them generate billions in revenue every year. Wage theft—-when employers fail to pay employees all legally entitled wages—-impacts all employees, across all workplaces, in all states…However, as one might expect, wage theft impacts young workers, women, people of color, and immigrant workers most of all. The majority of workers with reported wages below the minimum wage are over 25 and are native-born U.S. citizens, nearly half are white, more than a quarter have children, and just over half work full time.

“Wage theft is the rule, not the exception, for low-wage workers,” said Michael Hollander, a staff attorney at Community Legal Services of Philadelphia. “Low-income workers are already in this fragile balance,” said Victor Narro of the UCLA Labor Center. “One paycheck of not being able to get the wages they’re owed can cause them to lose everything.”

Wage theft is a MASSIVE PROBLEM In the 10 most populated states in the union:

  • Workers in all demographic categories being cheated out of pay
  • 17 percent of all low-wage workers are victims of wage theft
  • Wage theft, like minimum wage violations, affects at least 2.4 million workers
  • Those workers lose $8 billion annually to wage theft, involving a variety of wage and hour violations
  • On average wage theft costs those workers an average of $3,300 per year in wage violations

EMPLOYERS STEAL BILLIONS FROM WORKERS’ PAYCHECKS EACH YEAR! BILLIONS!

According to Good Jobs First, some of the most penalized corporations include:

  • Walmart – $1.4 billion in total wage theft settlements
  • FedEx – $502 million in total wage theft settlements
  • Bank of America – $381 million in total wage theft settlements
  • Wells Fargo – $205 million in total wage theft settlements
  • JPMorgan Chase – $160 million in total wage theft settlements
  • State Farm Insurance – $140 million in total wage theft settlements

IT’S NOT ALWAYS THE HUGE COMPANIES

Recently, Brooklyn District Attorney and the New York City Department of Investigation, announced a Brooklyn construction company pleaded guilty to second-degree grand larceny for underpaying and committing wage theft against 21 employees. Let’s walk through the elements of this specific case:

According to the New York Daily News, the Brooklyn District Attorney stated that the affected workers were all immigrants,

According to the filing, the Brooklyn construction company falsely certified that it paid these workers at prevailing wage rates ($62 to $63 per hour).

In reality, the Brooklyn construction company only paid between $10 and $17 per hour and no overtime or benefits

At the end of the day, the Brooklyn construction company ended up owing the workers more than $230,000 in restitution.

DO YOU SUSPECT YOU ARE THE VICTIM OF WAGE THEFT?

Learn more about your employee rights. Lawyers for Employee and Consumer Rights (LFECR) is a leading California employment law firm. With 40+ remote attorneys, LFECR is able to work on behalf of clients anywhere in California. Fired unfairly? Your free consult awaits!

Call 888-625-0959.

IM our Facebook page.

Follow us on TwitterInstagramMedium, LinkedIn, or our blog.

See our videos!

Have a great day!

CALIFORNIA WAGE THEFT—–WHAT WORKERS NEED TO KNOW

Most California workers have no idea they may be victims of wage theft.

According to the UCLA Institute for Research on Labor and Employment’s report “Wage Theft and Workplace Violations in Los Angeles”, Los Angeles is the wage theft capital of the country.

 

The survey found that low-wage workers in Los Angeles regularly experience violations of basic laws that mandate a minimum wage and overtime pay and are frequently forced to work off the clock or during their breaks.

First, what is “wage theft”? According to the UCLA Labor Center, “Wage theft is the illegal practice of not paying workers for all of their work including; violating minimum wage laws, not paying overtime, forcing workers to work off the clock, and much more. It is a major problem statewide. In Los Angeles alone, low-wage workers lose $26.2 million in wage theft violations every week–making it the wage theft capital of the country.”

Now, let’s dive a little deeper into the UCLA report:

http://irle.ucla.edu/old/publications/documents/LAwagetheft-Milkman-Narro-110.pdf

WHO IS MOST AFFECTED BY WAGE THEFT?

  • Approximately 17% of all workers in L.A. County work in low-wage industries and frequently experience violations of minimum wage, overtime and break-time laws;
  • Wage theft affects two thirds of the 750,000 low-wage workers in L.A. County;
  • The average worker loses more than $2,600 to wage theft – 15% of their annual income;
  • Workers in low-wage industries are most exposed to wage theft, including those employed by garment, cafeteria, fast-food, retail and residential construction businesses as well as those working as janitors and in restaurants or households.

MINIMUM WAGE VIOLATIONS

  • Almost 30 percent of the L.A. workers sampled were paid less than the minimum wage in the work week preceding the survey, a higher violation rate than in New York City, but with no statistically significant difference from Chicago.
  • The minimum wage violations were not trivial in magnitude: 63.3 percent of workers were underpaid by more than $1.00 per hour.

OVERTIME VIOLATIONS

  • Among all L.A. respondents, 21.3 percent worked more than forty hours for a single employer during the previous work week and were therefore at risk for an overtime violation. Over three-fourths (79.2 percent) of these at-risk workers were not paid the legally required overtime rate by their employers.
  • Like minimum wage violations, overtime violations were far from trivial in magnitude. Those L.A. respondents with an overtime violation had worked an average of ten overtime hours during the previous work week.

OFF-THE-CLOCK VIOLATIONS

  • Nearly one in five L.A. respondents (17.6 percent) stated that they had worked before and/or after their regular shifts in the previous work week and were thus at risk for off-the-clock violations. Within this group, 71.2 percent did not receive any pay at all for the work they performed outside their regular shift.

MEAL AND REST BREAK VIOLATIONS

  • Among all L.A. respondents, 89.6 percent worked enough consecutive hours to be legally entitled to a meal break. However, more than three-fourths of these at-risk workers (80.3 percent) experienced a meal break violation in the previous work week. The L.A. meal break violation rate was higher than that found in New York City, but Chicago had the lowest rate of the three cities.
  • California law requires employers to provide workers ten-minute rest breaks during each four-hour shift (or two ten-minute rest breaks in a standard eight-hour shift). However, this requirement is often violated. The survey found that 81.7 percent of respondents eligible for rest breaks were either denied a break entirely or had a shortened break during the previous work week.

HAVE YOU BEEN FIRED? HAVE YOU QUIT? ARE YOU OWED MONEY?

Lawyers for Employee and Consumer Rights (LFECR) is a leading California employment law firm. With 40+ remote attorneys, LFECR is able to work on behalf of clients anywhere in California. Fired unfairly? Your free consult awaits! Call 888-625-0959. IM our Facebook page. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Medium, LinkedIn, our blog and check out our YouTube videos! Have a great day!