Calif. Bill Would Ramp Up Enforcement Against Wage Theft

By Erin Coe April 22, 2015

Law360, San Diego (April 24, 2015, 10:43 PM ET)


Looking to crack down on wage theft, California’s Senate leader said Thursday he has introduced a bill that would allow state regulators to require businesses that have failed to pay court orders for worker wages to post a bond of $150,000.

State Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon said S.B. 588 would help boost the state labor commissioner’s efforts to go after employers that illegally withhold wages from workers. If companies that already have outstanding judgments also fail to post the bond, the bill gives the labor commissioner the option to file a lien for unpaid wages on the employer’s property.
“Wage theft has reached epidemic proportions in California,” de Leon said in a statement. “California must target the bad actors to level the playing field for honest businesses and help workers collect the pay they’ve earned.”
A U.S. Department of Labor report in December found that between 334,000 and 372,000 workers in California were paid less than the minimum wage each week, at a cost of between $1.2 and $1.5 billion annually.