Study: California Low-Wage Workers Cheated Of Awards

June 28, 2013

A new study says thousands of low-paid California workers were cheated out of money they won against employers who broke the law.

The report, to be released Thursday, says many companies escaped judgment by dissolving and taking new names.

The report says that from 2008 to 2011, only 17 percent of court-ordered claims for back pay and labor law penalties were collected by workers, who are mainly immigrants that clean buildings, wash cars, pick crops and sew clothing.

Only about 40 percent of some $400 million was collected.

Anita Herrera told the Los Angeles Times that she won $20,000 from a San Diego office-cleaning firm but didn’t see a dime because it switched names.

A proposed state law would fight that by slapping a lien on an employer’s property.

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