Wage Theft – Navigating the Wage Maze
Owning a business can be downright complicated. Profit margins, workers’ comp, competitive health plans, labor law compliance, and administrative burdens can push an owner underwater. When dedicating time and resources to growing the business, sometimes components such as pay practices fall down the rung of the business’ priority ladder.
Agencies such as California’s Labor Commissioner’s Office often act as a watch-dog in order to protect workers’ rights and their wages. One such level of security is the protection against wage theft. Wage theft occurs when an employer fails to pay minimum wages, overtime, or assigns wrong classifications (which allows the business to pay the employee less than what they are truly owed). It also transpires when an employer demands illegal deductions, forces employees to work outside of their schedule, or simply doesn’t pay owed wages.
Moreover, if a business is found guilty of one (or multiple) of these wage infractions, they face fines that can have devastating, financial effects and may result in seizure of the business’ assets. In January alone, the California Labor Commissioner’s Office secured over $5,000,000 (million) in settlements from employers for wage theft.
To gain a better understanding of employment laws and wages in California, it’s recommended to consult legal counsel or a professional such as OmegaComp HR. We’ve been helping businesses navigate the wage maze for over 17 years.