California Labor Commissioner Introduces new “Wage Theft” Website, paid for by PAGA

On April 30, 2014, the California Labor Commissioner introduced a new website, WageTheftIsACrime.com in an outreach attempt aimed at what the Commissioner calls the “underserved population of low-wage workers.” Although the Labor Commissioner already operates a thorough and comprehensive website, https://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/dlse.html, the new site is purposefully written in plain English in an attempt to reach out to low-wage workers with a minimum of legalese. Notably, there is a sister website in Spanish, RoboDeSueldoEsUnCrimen.com

The website provides examples of what the Labor Commissioner calls “wage theft,” including “paying less than minimum wage, not paying workers overtime, not allowing workers to take meal and rest breaks, or taking workers’ tips” and gives employees a step-by-step guide on gathering facts against their employers and filing a wage claim. Interestingly, the website states that it is funded by penalties the Labor Commissioner has received pursuant to the Private Attorney’s General Act, Labor Code § 2698 et seq., which are earmarked “for enforcement of labor laws and education of employers and employees about their rights and responsibilities under this code.”

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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