Report finds wage theft running rampant, and California tops the list

"Together Forever" - A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular fireworks show at Disneyland on the first day of Pixar Fest in Anaheim on Thursday, Apr 12, 2018. The show includes projections along Main Street U.S.A. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

More than 500 large U.S. companies have paid out $8.8 billion in wage-theft claims since 2000 and more than half are from California, a new report finds.

The companies — including mega brands Wells Fargo, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, 24 Hour Fitness, Oracle and Smart & Final — have boosted their profits by forcing employees to work off the clock or by not paying their required overtime, according to “Grand Theft Paycheck: The Large Corporations Shortchanging Their Workers’ Wages.”

The study was published June 5 by the Corporate Research Project of Good Jobs First and the Jobs With Justice Education Fund.

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The longstanding practice of denying workers fair wages is “pervasive” and “goes far beyond sweatshops, fast-food outlets and retailers,” according to Philip Mattera, lead author of the report.

“It’s built into the business model of a substantial portion of corporate America,” Mattera said. “Many of these companies will say that this was an innocent mistake. But it happens so much and with so many companies that it’s hard to believe these are all accidents and that they just ran afoul of bureaucratic procedures.”

From cashiers to financial advisers

The report analyzed 1,200 successful wage-violation lawsuits brought against large companies that have been resolved either by a verdict or settlement from 2000 through May 1 of 2018. Employers in those cases have collectively paid out billions on behalf of workers that range from cashiers and security guards to financial advisers and pharmaceutical sales representatives.

Those same 500-plus companies paid another $400 million in penalties to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division.

The Walt Disney Co. is one of many California corporations that has boosted its …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Business


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