Is wage theft a crime in California?

Wage theft occurs when employers fail to pay employees the wages they are owed. While it is a labor law violation, wage theft is widespread in California and viewed as a serious crime against employees. Unlawfully denying a worker’s rightful wages is likely to boost a company’s profitability while creating financial difficulties for the worker.

Employers can commit wage theft in many different ways. They may withhold overtime, pay below minimum wage, deny meal or rest breaks, require unpaid off-the-clock work, refuse to reimburse business expenses, or take employees’ tips. Companies often use tactics to try to hide wage theft, such as by threatening to fire a worker in retaliation for asking about their overtime pay.

The first step in fighting wage theft is to know your rights as an employee. If you think your employer has committed wage theft, talk to a California employment law attorney. Erlich Law Firm can help you determine whether you have a valid claim against your employer.

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My parents were heavily involved in community organizing. Seeing neighbors and friends’ parents struggle in the workplace gave me a sense of purpose that I wanted to help others. Many employees feel helpless and powerless in the workplace, and helping them vindicate their rights is the right thing to do.

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Jeff V., Oakland

Jason Erlich made me feel like I was in the right place right away.I had some serious problems with a previous employer and he took care of everything. From the start he helped with my concerns and fears going up against a big corporation.

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With Jason’s expertise, commitment and aggressiveness, the case is now over and it’s only been 6 months!! I would HIGHLY recommend Jason Erlich to anyone that needs an employment lawyer.

Carla, Petaluma

I can highly recommend Jason Erlich Esq. for any employment law matter. He is an outstanding lawyer, embodies a mix of honesty, knowledge, client care and tough mindset.

Roger J., Oakland

When employees' legal rights are violated, we take time to explain their legal options, listen to their goals, and aggressively argue their case until we achieve the resolution they deserve.