UCLA Labor Center

Wage Theft Hurts Workers’ Health

Publish date: August 27, 2014

On Tuesday, August 26, 2014, workers and business owners from a broad range of industries gathered in front of city hall to release a report showing how wage theft impacts workers’ health. The report, Wage Theft: Health Impact Assessment, was authored by Human Impact Partners. It shows how impoverished workers with little recourse against employers who violate wage and hour laws find themselves in unhealthy living and working conditions.

According to Fabiola Santiago, Researcher with Human Impact Partners, “Wage theft drives workers deeper into poverty. With low incomes, workers find it difficult to afford adequate housing, healthy food, and other resources. These conditions put workers at risk for chronic illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, and mental health issues. It also means they often can’t afford medication for serious health conditions.” Download the report.

Los Angeles is the wage theft capital of the nation. According to a UCLA study, every week Los Angeles’ low-wage workers lose $26.2 million in wage theft violations, the highest of any other major city in the country. Wage theft is the violation of California’s most basic wage and hour laws and includes not paying minimum wage, not paying overtime, forcing workers to work off the clock, denying meal and rest breaks, and more.

For more information, visit www.endwagetheft.com