California employees work hard for their money. In most cases, people's wages are necessary for them to pay their bills and support their families. In order to make sure people are paid fairly, the state of California and the U.S. federal government have set minimum wage laws. These employee laws are meant to make sure that employers do not take advantage of employees by paying them too little.
Despite these laws, some California employers still try to pay employers less than they should earn, or participate in other illegal behavior that robs employees of the pay they need and deserve. Recently, one California business has been fined for violating employment laws and paying its employees below minimum wage.
The car detailer business -- located in Torrance -- has been fined by the U.S. Department of Labor. The company must now pay back wages and penalties totaling $326,000 -- $34,400 in penalties and $292,000 in back pay. According to investigators, the company deducted money from employees pay for certain property damage. However, those deductions meant that the workers were earning less than minimum wage. Furthermore, authorities claim that the business tried to claim that employees were exempt from earning overtime pay, when they weren't. Therefore, the company illegally denied overtime pay and benefits to its employees. Over 200 employees were affected by these illegal practices.
This case shows California workers that pay and benefit violations are taken seriously by state and federal officials. Employees who are being paid less than minimum wage, or who are being denied overtime benefits, need to understand their legal rights and the process for getting compensation for their losses. By exercising these employee rights, California workers protect themselves and their co-workers from abuse.
Source: Los Angeles Business Journal, "Torrance Car Detailer Fined $326,000 for Wage Violations," Howard Fine, Sept. 23, 3013