Study shows how California employers avoid paying lawful claims to workers

Jul 02, 2013 by Mike Fricano
Study shows how California employers avoid paying lawful claims to workers
Restaurant workers protest over unpaid wages. Credit: Stefanie Ritroper

Thousands of low-wage workers in California have been unable to collect unpaid wages from their employers, even after state authorities have ordered the employers to pay, according to a study co-authored by researchers at the UCLA Center for Labor Research and Education.

The study, "Hollow Victories: The Crisis in Collecting Unpaid Wages for California's Workers," found that from 2008 to 2011, who filed complaints collected on only 17 percent of the court-ordered claims.

Only $165 million out of $390 million worth of fines had been collected, even after agreements were reached between state labor authorities and the companies. The employers were able to avoid paying the fines by using legal methods, such as dissolving and reforming under new names, the report said.

Most of the workers are in minimum-wage or low-paying jobs cleaning homes and businesses, washing cars, picking crops or sewing garments.

Explore further: Narcissistic CEOs and financial performance

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User comments : 9

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rwinners
5 / 5 (1) Jul 03, 2013
Ain't California a wonderful place????
I wonder if those same companies actually paid the state the with holding taxes they got from these 'unpaid' workers......
Probably so, since the state is MUCH more vigorous in pursuing tax cheats.
VendicarE
4.8 / 5 (4) Jul 03, 2013
Ain't American Corporations wonderful people?
ryggesogn2
1.4 / 5 (9) Jul 03, 2013
California is supposed to be a 'liberal' paradise.
Note to voters and victims, 'liberals' don't respect the rule of law.
VendicarE
5 / 5 (5) Jul 03, 2013
"California is supposed to be a 'liberal' paradise." - RyggTard

Only according to you.

Where in the U.S. constitution does it say that California must be a Liberal Paradise?

Moron.
kochevnik
3.3 / 5 (6) Jul 03, 2013
So now you claim corporations are liberal, ryggie?
ODesign
5 / 5 (1) Jul 08, 2013
I'm skeptical about the articles claim that. . .

"Most of the workers are immigrants in minimum-wage or low-paying jobs cleaning homes and businesses, washing cars, picking crops or sewing garments"

I think they mean most of the workers they studied. There's significant wage theft in most business that takes the form of unpaid overtime, missed lunch breaks, and usually it's mid-level secretaries, or computer programers, or sales managers who are given titles to sound like they are exempt from overtime, but legally they are supposed to get paid for their overtime work.

All those anecdotal stories about people making very low wages when they start a new position on salary instead of hourly are actually stories of HR and employers willfully misleading employees to believe the job is salaried with unpaid overtime.
VendicarE
5 / 5 (1) Jul 08, 2013
As is usual. When RyggTard is challenged, he cuts and runs.
Jimee
5 / 5 (1) Jul 10, 2013
How many people's lives must be crushed in order to become big, important, and rich?
VendicarE
5 / 5 (1) Jul 10, 2013
"How many people's lives must be crushed in order to become big, important, and rich?" - Jimee

Who cares? All that matters is money.