UCLA Labor Center

Angelinos vs Wage Theft

The campaign to end wage theft was launched eight years ago when workers and local organizations joined forces to put an end this unfair practice. Consequently numerous local community-based organizations formed the Los Angeles Coalition Against Wage Theft. This video, A Fair Day’s Pay for California’s Workers, takes us through the fight to end wage theft and increase wages across the state.

Wage theft occurs when employers refuse to pay their employees for all their work. For example, employers may implement a piece rate system or force workers to work during meal or rest breaks. While many workers have taken action against wage theft, workers who attempt to collect their unpaid wages face many challenges. Our 2013 study, Hollow Victories: The Crisis in Collecting Unpaid Wages California’s Workers , revealed that a shocking percentage of workers are unable to recover unpaid wages.  Unfortunately, even after legal action is taken, many employers refuse to pay back wages.

As a result of local organizing efforts by numerous organizations, a statewide law, SB 588, was passed which increased the minimum wage and implemented strong wage theft enforcement laws. As a result, there is now a statewide process to collect stolen wages and to prevent corporate fraud and abuse. Learn more about wage theft here.