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At Mehtani Law Offices, our Beverly Hills employment law attorneys know wage theft is a pervasive problem facing workers throughout the U.S. According to a recent report by the Economic Policy Institute, workers lose over $50 billion a year to wage theft from employers — including some in California.

Wage theft includes tactics such as failing to properly pay workers for overtime, violating minimum wage laws, misclassifying employees as independent contractors, and not providing workers with mandated meal and rest breaks.

Unfortunately, the problem is rampant in the U.S. construction industry, described by regulators in a recent Guardian report as “Out of hand.”

Construction Industry in U.S

Why is Wage Theft Widespread in The U.S. Construction Industry?

According to USA Today, wage theft is a pervasive problem in many industries, including those that lead the list: hospitality and restaurants, healthcare staffing, and construction. Unfortunately, many in the construction industry are unaware of their rights and assume that “getting the job done” is part of their employment responsibilities.

The Guardian reported multiple interviews with construction employees who all had similar stories, stating, “We didn’t know our rights or anything like that. We were working over 60 hours a week and not getting paid overtime so that we would work 60 to 80 hours a week, and sometimes we had to work for free on Sundays to finish a project.”

According to a Department of Labor investigation, employers are also intimidating workers from speaking up about the practices by threatening to call immigration services on workers and reducing workers’ hours and pay if they were suspected of cooperating with the department’s investigation—a practice that is also unlawful.

How Can California Construction Workers Enforce Their Rights?

While not all construction companies operate outside of California’s labor laws, some exploit workers because of their lack of education, immigration status, or knowledge of labor laws.

If employees believe their California employer is not paying them minimum wage or overtime, are pressuring them to skip meal or rest breaks without pay, or are threatening to reduce their hours or terminate them for reporting unlawful behavior — including wage theft — contact our skilled employment lawyers in Los Angeles County at (310) 776-3590 at Mehtani Law Offices to schedule a free consultation today to discuss your unique circumstances with a law firm that can help pursue real results for your case.

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