Thousands of workers in California are paid lower than the minimum wage, or forced to work long days with no overtime. That’s against the law of course, but employers know these low-wage earners, desperate for work, are afraid to speak up for fear of losing their jobs. If they quit or get fired, they have no recourse to collect wages they’re owed. A bill on Governor Schwarzennegger’s desk would bring the hammer down on scofflaw employers, increasing the penalties for those who underpay their workers. California businesses and farms have called this a “job-killing” bill, claiming that retroactive action could seriously hurt their businesses.
Mark Schacht, California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation