When a California resident takes a new job he often agrees to do certain occupational tasks in exchange for compensation. That compensation can include wages, job-provided insurance, and other benefits that allow the worker to lead a productive and comfortable life. When his employer fails to provide him with the compensation that he deserves, the worker may feel that his employer is taking advantage of him.
Several Los Angeles-based janitorial workers have been struggling with wage violations for a number of years. The pair worked for several years as cleaners of a movie theater. They put in eleven-hour days and worked every day of the week. Together they only received $1,400 a month and their checks were usually late. They lodged a complaint with California Labor Commissioner but when an investigation was undertaken it was discovered that the employer had changed names and was going to be difficult to pursue.
Sadly, this couple's experience is not unique and the problem is not isolated to only Los Angeles. Many Californians are taken advantage of by their employers, especially workers who perform low wage jobs. The state is looking at expanding the Labor Commissioner's ability to collect back pay from companies that employ people in California, but as of now many struggle to get the compensation that they deserve.
Right now the couple discussed in this post is waiting for more than $80,000 in unpaid wages. The individuals' lives could be significantly improved if its employer would simply do the right thing and compensate them accordingly. Unfortunately some employers are unscrupulous and workers have to take matters into their own hands in order secure the payments they deserve.
Source: Los Angeles Times, "Few wage theft victims ever get their back pay," Chris Kirkham, Sept. 4, 2015