Assembly Labor Committee Votes to Help Workers Recover Stolen Wages, Protect Honest Businesses

Sacramento, CA – The California Fair Paycheck Coalition and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) California released the following statement from SEIU United Service Workers West President Mike Garcia following the Assembly Labor Committee’s 4-2 vote to approve AB 2416, the Wage Theft Recovery Act (Stone).

“Today, members of the Assembly Labor Committee stood on the side of hard-working people and honest, ethical businesses by voting in favor of AB 2416, The Wage Theft Recovery Act.

“California workers should be able to count on our labor laws to ensure that every dollar they earn is a dollar paid, but the reality is that many paycheck protections are meaningless unless workers have stronger tools to hold responsible parties accountable when wages are stolen.

“When some companies get away with cheating workers by shaving hours off paychecks, forcing workers to work off the clock, paying less than the legal minimum, or refusing to pay overtime as required by law, honest businesses are put at risk.

“AB 2416 creates a clear standard that prevents unscrupulous businesses from ducking responsibility to pay workers, and levels the playing field for honest businesses that play by the rules.”

Earlier today, SEIU members were among more than 100 workers, community allies, and ethical business owners who marched on the headquarters of the California Chamber of Commerce, an opponent of AB 2416, to deliver an invoice for $240 million. The invoice represents the amount of stolen wages awarded to workers with successful wages claims from 2008-2011, but which have yet to be collected from unscrupulous employers. SEIU also launched an online ad campaign today that spotlights how the Chamber’s defense of wage theft disadvantages honest businesses who are undercut by unscrupulous companies that steal from workers.

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The California Fair Paycheck Coalition is composed of dozens of labor, community, and worker’s advocacy groups, including the Service Employees International Union, California Labor Federation, California Immigrant Policy Center, National Employment Law Project, Koreatown Immigrant Workers Alliance, Graton Day Labor Center, the Garment Worker Center, the Wage Justice Center and La Raza Centro Legal.

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