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AB 673: California Failure to Pay Wages and Penalties

AB 673: California Failure to Pay Wages and Penalties

AB 673: Existing law provides for a civil penalty, in addition to, and entirely independent and apart from other penalties, on every person who fails to pay the wages of each employee, as specified, including a provision prohibiting wage differential on the basis of sex, as provided in specified provisions of the Labor Code. Existing law requires the Labor Commissioner to recover that penalty as part of a hearing held to recover unpaid wages and penalties or in an independent civil action. Existing law requires that a specified percentage of the penalty recovered under that provision be paid into a fund within the Labor and Workforce Development Agency dedicated to educating employers about state labor laws and that the remainder be paid into the State Treasury to the credit of the General Fund.

This bill would also authorize the affected employee to bring an action to recover specified statutory penalties against the employer as part of a hearing held to recover unpaid wages. The bill would remove the authority for the Labor Commissioner to recover civil penalties in an independent civil action. The bill would also modify the list of statutes that a statutory penalty may be recovered for violation of by adding a provision relating to wages paid to an employee who is licensed under the Barbering and Cosmetology Act. The bill would authorize an employee to either recover statutory penalties under these provisions or to enforce civil penalties under a specified provision of the Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act of 2004, but not both, for the same violation.
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