State Data Reveal Years-Long Waits to Resolve Wage Theft Claims

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New state data reveal that California workers face years-long waits to resolve cases of wage theft through California’s Labor Commissioner’s Office. Last year the average wait time for a worker to get a hearing on a claim that their employer didn’t pay owed wages was more than three years in Oakland – the worst in the state. San Francisco’s wait time was a little over two and a half years. According to advocates, the delays discourage workers from reporting wage thefts, in turn reinforcing systems of worker exploitation. The Labor Commissioner’s Office cites staffing shortages as a key problem in hearing cases efficiently, compounded by the pandemic. We’ll learn more about the causes and effects of California’s wage theft claims backlog.


Veronica Chavez, Interim Workers' Rights Directing Attorney, Centro Legal de la Raza

Farida Jhabvala Romero, reporter, KQED

Carlos Torres, assistant chief, Wage Claim Adjudication Unit, California Labor Commissioner's Office