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New California Law Allows Cities and Counties to Enforce State Wage Laws

A new law in the state of California is set to enable counties and cities to work with the state’s Division of Labor Standards enforcement (DLSE) to enforce compliance with wage laws.

The law, California S.B. 1342, is intended to provide local enforcement organizations the tools necessary to conduct thorough wage claim investigations to assist in the recovery of unpaid wages, including the ability to issue a subpoena. Additionally, the law encourages counties and cities to implement their own local measures specific to wages, including strategies that target and rectify wage theft.

Wage & Hour Violations

According to Congressional findings in connection with passage of the new law, wage enforcement resources in California have not kept pace with increases in the number of employers and increased complexity of the employer-employee relationship.  Wage & hour violations are especially prevalent in Los Angeles, which has been called the “wage theft capital” of the United States.  Incredibly, 30 percent of low-wage workers in Los Angeles receive less than the minimum wage and 88.5 percent of workers experience some kind of wage theft.

The most common types of wage theft include:

  • Not paying minimum wage or the applicable prevailing wage
  • Not paying overtime
  • Not paying for all the time on the job, such as on-call time or preparation time (for example putting on protective gear)
  • Requiring employees to work through their rest or meal breaks
  • Forcing employees to work “off of the clock”
  • Rounding down the employee’s time to the disadvantage of employee
  • Misclassifying an employee as exempt or as independent contractor

Labor Law Attorneys in Los Angeles

If you believe that your employer has committed wage theft, you can contact an appropriate government entity that enforces wage & hour laws, such as Department of Industrial Relations or a local enforcement agency.  Alternatively, you can consult with an attorney who specializes in the wage & hour laws in California.  You can call Los Angeles employment attorneys at Broslavsky & Weinman, LLP today at (310) 575-2550 for a free consultation to evaluate your claims.

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