Workers share how wage theft damages families, drives poverty; elected leaders share solutions to multi-billion annual wage heist
August 28, 2015 (San Diego)--Speaker of the Assembly Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) along with California Labor Commissioner Julie Su and local leaders will host a “Fair Day’s Pay” town hall with San Diego workers on Saturday, August 29 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. The forum will spotlight how wage theft denies workers the opportunity to participate in the American Dream and leaves families in poverty.
The forum comes after a joint study by San Diego State University and the Center on Policy Initiatives found persuasive evidence of wage theft throughout San Diego’s food industry, with more than three-quarters (77%) of workers reporting having been victims of wage theft during the past year and a third saying theft from their paychecks occurs regularly. Wage theft plagues workers in many other low-wage industries, and adds up to billions drained from California’s economy each year.
In addition to hearing the firsthand stories of affected workers, elected leaders will join worker advocates and labor leaders to discuss how actions are needed to collect unpaid wages, protect workers from further abuse, and enforce existing labor laws to curb wage violations. SB 588 (De Leon), the Fair Day’s Pay Act, is critical piece of the enforcement puzzle. The bill, which is expected to soon appear on Governor Jerry Brown’s desk, would strengthen the State Labor Commissioner’s ability to collect wages owed to workers.
Common forms of wage theft include paying less than the minimum wage, paying workers for fewer hours than were worked, misclassifying workers as independent contractors, or failing to pay overtime rates as required by law.
In addition to Speaker Atkins and Labor Commissioner Su, the town hall meeting on wage theft and improving law enforcement against this crime will also include community, labor and faith leaders, Councilmember Todd Gloria, and workers who have experienced wage theft.
The town hall will be held at St. Paul’s Cathedral, 2728 6th Avenue in San Diego from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.