Photo via Pixabay
Photo via Pixabay

The Board of Supervisors adopted an ordinance Tuesday to enforce the county’s minimum wage.

The Department of Consumer and Business Affairs will set up the wage enforcement program, designed to stop “wage theft.” Workers’ rights advocates say thousands of dollars are lost each day to wage theft of workers at restaurants, car washes, garment factories and construction sites.

The board’s vote to adopt was 4-1, with Supervisor Michael Antonovich dissenting.

The ordinance allows employees to file claims for unpaid wages and establishes fines and other penalties for violators.

Fines could run up to $100 per day per employee for unpaid wages, while failing to post notices or keep records can result in a $500 fine.

Some violations, such as failing to provide a pay period statement, call for $500 fines to be paid both to the county and the employee.

Retaliating against employees for exercising their rights can result in fines of up to $1,000 per employee payable to the county, another $1,000 per employee payable to the employee and an additional $100 per day to the employee until the employee is reinstated, if ordered.

Fines can be increased by as much as 50 percent for repeat offenders.

The county’s minimum hourly wage — set to take effect July 1 — is scheduled to reach $15 by 2020.

—City News Service

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