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California agricultural workers may be victims of wage theft

California's agriculture industry is a vital part of the economy. While this industry provides much-needed employment for many people, some employees are not receiving the pay they are entitled to under the state's current wage and hour laws. This is generally known as theft of wages and all members of the agriculture industry should know that it is illegal.

If you are wondering how it is possible to steal a person's wages, you are not alone. It occurs when employers do not pay their workers the state's minimum wage. It can also occur if workers are denied overtime pay. The agricultural industry in California is a repeat offender for this kind of wage theft.

In 2015, California agricultural employers were assessed almost $200,000 in penalties for their failure to follow state wage and hour laws. If you work in the agriculture industry, learn the laws so that you can take action if you are not receiving fair pay for your hard work.

Under the law, agricultural workers are entitled to receive no less than the minimum wage, which currently stands at $10.50 per hour. Further, those employed in this industry are legally entitled to receive overtime pay at a rate of at least one and a half times the normal pay rate. Employees are also entitled to a 10-minute paid rest period for every four hours of work.

Unfortunately, many employers try to operate outside of the law when paying their employees. However, workers in the state are protected by the law and have legal options to remedy the situation. An employment attorney can help if you are a victim of wage theft in California.

Source: State of California, Department of Industrial Relations, "Agriculture," accessed Jan. 26, 2017

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