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Wage theft describes the illegal practice of employers failing to adequately compensate workers for their labor, based on state and federal labor laws.

Given that wage theft can take many forms – and that many workers may not realize when they have been the victims of wage theft, below we have debunked some of the most common myths about this illegal practice.

The Facts about Wage Theft: What Workers Should Know

Myth 1: I agreed to be paid less than minimum wage, so my employer hasn’t committed wage theft.

Get the facts about wage theft from an experienced Los Angeles employment lawyer. Contact us for help holding an employer accountable for wage & hour violations.

Get the facts about wage theft from an experienced Los Angeles employment lawyer. Contact us for help holding an employer accountable for wage & hour violations.

Fact: Wrong! Per California labor laws, all employers in the state are legally obligated to pay their workers at least the state minimum wage (which is $9 through the end of 2015 and will increase to $10 as of Jan. 1, 2016; rare exceptions may apply). This means that, even if you signed something that stated you would agree to accept less than minimum wage, that document is not a legal contract, and it does not allow your employer to get around California minimum wage laws.

So, the bottom line is that, regardless of whether you agreed to be paid less, wage theft will have occurred if your employer fails to pay you at least the applicable California minimum wage.

Myth 2: Working ‘off of the clock’ doesn’t constitute wage theft.

Fact: Wrong again! Workers should be compensated for all of their labor. So, even if you agree to work off of the clock, the agreement doesn’t trump the state labor laws. If the employer fails to pay you the rate you deserve (either your standard hourly rate or overtime if applicable), wage theft will have occurred.

Myth 3: If my employer promised to pay me one wage and then ends up paying me less, there’s nothing I can do.

Fact: This is not true at all! First of all, if employers fail to pay workers some promised wage (paying them less when paychecks are issued), this is another form wage theft. There can be various ways to prove that wage theft has occurred in these situations, depending on the circumstances. For instance, initial employment contracts, paystubs and even witness statements can be helpful in establishing when this type of wage theft has taken place.

Myth 4: It’s better to not do anything about wage theft so that my employer doesn’t retaliate against me.

Fact: Absolutely not! Employers that commit wage theft need to be stopped. And, if they try to retaliate against the workers who speak up, they can face additional legal problems and penalties (as now they will face charges of wage theft and retaliation).

Contact a Los Angeles Employment Lawyer at Moon and Yang Professional Corporation

Have you been the victim of wage theft? Or has your employer violated any of your worker rights? If so, you can turn to an experienced Los Angeles employment lawyer at the Moon and Yang Professional Corporation for aggressive, effective legal advocacy in your pursuit of justice.

To find out more about our services and how we can help you, contact us today by calling (213) 232-3128 or by emailing us using the contact form on this page.

From our offices based in Los Angeles, our trusted lawyer provide superior service to clients throughout Southern California, including those in Koreatown, Orange, Anaheim, Santa Ana, Buena Park, Garden Grove and throughout Los Angeles and Orange Counties.

Categories: Wage &Hour Violations