How To Assert Your Rights Against Wage Theft In California Workplaces
California's wage theft protection laws prevent the exploitation of employees. But unfortunately, some employers will do everything they can to reduce business costs—sometimes undermining their employee's rights.
That said, let's look at what you can about wage theft:
How Do I Know I'm Experiencing Wage Theft?
Employers steal wages in a variety of ways. The most typical of which are:
An employer may misclassify personnel as independent contractors to avoid paying payroll taxes, workers' compensation or health insurance premiums, or any supplies needed to carry out their duties.
Getting Paid Less Than Minimum Wage
Setting a minimum wage protects you and other workers from exploitation. As a result, it is required by law that employers pay the minimum wage.
Denial Of Paid Sick Leave
In some circumstances, workers may be eligible for paid sick days. However, it constitutes wage theft when an employer declines to grant a qualified worker compensated sick leave.
Only a few situations permit an employer to take money directly from a worker's paycheck. For instance, they could need your written consent. For example, if an employer takes money outright from your paycheck without your permission or a valid reason, that is considered wage theft.
Unwillingness to Pay Final Wages
Employers occasionally take money out of your most recent paycheck. In specific situations, it's possible that you neglected to return any item from the workplace to the employer. However, there are several instances where employers merely withhold the final salary without offering a sufficient explanation.
Breaching Employment Contract
Some employment contracts may indicate pay rates, commissions, or bonuses. If your employer fails to pay these rates, your employment contract and wage theft can be violated. Contact a prescreened California wage theft attorney if you have more questions regarding alleged violations of employment contracts in California.
How To Protect Your Wages In California
Don't give your employer the opportunity to exploit you! Here are a few ways to ensure you're protected from wage theft in California:
Read your contract. Check for minimum wage, benefits, and policies regarding your pay. Contracts are crucial for a lot of unpaid wage claims in California.
Learn your rights. Know penalties, the reporting process, and possible evidence that can be used in filing employment claims. This will protect you from possible underhanded methods of stealing wages.
Read your employment/company handbook. Know what you can do about possible internal issues. How do you report unpaid wages? How do you contact HR? What is the process of internally resolving these issues? This will help you navigate through possible problems in the future.
That said, if you run into problems, you shou