The Wage Theft Problem in California

No Money A new report by Economic Policy Institute shows that low-wage workers in California lose nearly $2 billion a year to minimum wage violations committed by their employers. That’s about about $64 a week, $3,400 yearly and 22% percent of their earnings!

As mentioned in Daily News, minimum wage violations hurt low-wage workers in every demographic category, but the institute’s report found that young people, women, people of color and immigrant workers are disproportionately impacted by these violations, as they are more likely to work in low-wage jobs. If the study — which covers more than 50 percent of the U.S. workforce — is representative of the country as a whole, the authors estimate that American workers are being cheated out of more than $15 billion a year.

Six organizations have joined forces to combat wage theft in the workplace, according to Daily News. They’ve formed a statewide collaborative called Make Work Pay, which will focus heavily on wage theft in California, since it’s the most populous state in the U.S. Members of the collaborative include the Center on Policy Initiatives, East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy, National Employment Law Project, Southern California Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health, Working Partnerships USA and Worksafe.

Their goal is to build on California’s legislative wins that raise wages and strengthen labor standards enforcement.