New Worker Protection Laws Take Aim at Wage Theft in California

25 min
at 9:00 AM
Prep chefs work in the kitchen at the Yank Sing dim sum restaurant in San Francisco's financial district. Workers there won a $4 million wage theft settlement in 2014. (Photo: Vinnee Tong/KQED)

Each year, about 40,000 California workers file wage theft claims against their employers. That's according to researchers at UCLA's Labor Center, who also found that less than 20 percent of those who prevail manage to recover the money owed to them. A series of laws and reforms are aiming to combat wage theft in the state, including AB 51 — a newly signed bill that outlaws forced arbitration in wage theft and other workplace legal actions. We’ll consider what kinds of workers are most vulnerable to wage theft, and what can be done to prevent it.

Guests:

Tia Koonse, legal and policy research manager, UCLA Labor Center

Julie Su, secretary, California Labor and Workforce Development Agency

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