Employers may take advantage of workers by stealing their wages in a number of different ways. Wage theft can include requiring employees to work through breaks without overtime pay, paying less than minimum wage or requiring the purchase of necessary items for work without the possibility of reimbursement. Employers may also misclassify workers as independent contractors or take illegal deductions from wages. Although it is possible to file a wage claim and recover back pay, the process can be difficult without help.
Garment companies in Los Angeles have been accused of rampant wage theft. The California Labor Commissioner’s Office fined 18 garment companies $682,000 for not providing workers’ compensation and failing to give employees itemized time sheets that show how long they had worked their shifts. The U.S. Department of Labor claims that other garment companies have stolen over $11 million from workers.
Businesses guilty of wage theft are most likely to take advantage of workers who are unaware of their rights in California and the United States. Workers do have options, but it is important for them to gather as much evidence as possible before filing claims to recover wages.
What Evidence is Needed to File a Wage Claim?
The following examples of evidence can help workers file wage claims. Keep in mind, the type of evidence can vary depending on how employers committed wage theft.
- Stubs showing wages that were paid during the period listed in the claim
- Personal records of hours and dates worked during the claim
- Copies of bounced checks
- Bank statements of purchases made for items that are essential to the job
This is not an exhaustive list of evidence that might be required to file a successful wage claim. In many cases, recovering back pay comes down to paper work.
The Los Angeles employment law attorneys at the Law Offices of Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob have extensive experience recovering back pay for workers.