05/14/2015 // Keller Grover LLP (Press Release) // Eric Grover. // (press release)
Los Angeles, CA—For many victims of wage theft, winning in court is only half the battle. Actually recovering your judgment and back wages is another war in itself, as many employers simply do not pay up, reports LA wage and hour attorney Eric Grover of the Keller Grover law firm.
According to a 2013 UCLA Labor Center study, California workers received only 42 percent of the back wages the state said they were owed from 2008 to 2011. Of those who received a judgment, only 17 percent actually received money during that three-year period.
A report from the California Labor Commissioner’s Bureau of Field Enforcement didn’t report that the workers they surveyed fared any better, as they only reported a collection rate of 20 percent.
Due to the length of settling wage and hour cases, many business try to evade claims made against them by changing ownership or names, which makes it harder for victims to recover any compensation they’re owed.
In fact, “as many as 60% of wage cases in California involve scenarios in which a business entity has switched ownership or changed names,” said Matthew Sirolly, director of the Wage Justice Center to the Los Angeles Times.
Wage theft has been an ongoing problem for workers in Los Angeles County. According to a 2010 research survey, about 30 percent of low wage workers reported being paid below minimum wage the previous week. In 2014 alone, 5,000 claims of wage-related violations were reported with the county’s branch of CA state Labor Commissioner’s office.
An EPI study, which looked at New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, also found two-thirds of low-wage workers had been victims of wage theft during any given week in 2008. This cost workers an average of $2,600 a year, affecting 15 percent of their total earnings, Grover previously reported in “Study: Wage Theft Costing American Workers $50 Billion.” (http://www.kellergrover.com/study-wage-theft-costing-american-workers-50-billion_12748.html)
Although workers are having difficulty collecting owed wages from their employers, California Labor Commissioner Julie Su reported that the “state has significantly improved its collection rate on back wages in recent years by improving the investigation process and cracking down on employers who retaliate after workers report problems,” the Los Angeles Times reported.
“It’s important to note that just because there are sometimes difficulties in collecting judgments against your employer, it doesn’t mean that reporting or fighting back against wage-related crimes is not worth doing,” says Grover. “Many workers who win judgments do collect and stop employers from committing illegal wage practices again in the future. Wage theft is a fight worth fighting.”
The California wage and hour attorneys at Keller Grover LLP have been helping victims of wage theft recover lost wages since 2005. To learn more wage laws and if you’ve been a victim contact Keller Grover at 888.601.6939.
Url: Keller Grover LLP
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