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20 Emp. Rts. & Emp. Pol'y J. 71 (2016)
Lofty Laws, Broken Promises: Wage Theft and the Degradation of Low-Wage Workers

handle is hein.journals/emplrght20 and id is 72 raw text is: 






   LOFTY   LAWS,  BROKEN PROMISES: WAGE THEFT AND
      THE  DEGRADATION OF LOW-WAGE WORKERS

                               BY
                   MATTHEw FRITZ-MAUER*

   I. INTRODUCTION         ..................................... .....72
   II. CALIFORNIA'S LONGSTANDING REPUTATION AS AN
      EMPLOYEE-FRIENDLY STATE...........................76
      A.  California Progressives and Early Worker Protection
          Laws........................................78
      B.  California's Modern-Day, Employee-Friendly Legal
          Regime ...................................... 82
          1. California's Suffer or Permit Definition of
             Employment..........................83
          2. California's Minimum Wage  and Overtime Laws.........87
          3. Meal and Rest Breaks         ..........    ..............90
          4. Recent Attempts to Combat  Wage  Theft .................92
          5. Conclusion.     .......................    ..........94
 III. THE PRACTICAL   REALITIES  OF WAGE  THEFT  IN
      EMPLOYEE-FRIENDLY CALIFORNIA....           ...............95
      A.  The Scope of Wage Theft in California ....................96
      B.  Wage Claims and Hurdles to Recovery .........        ........102
 IV.  How  CALIFORNIA'S  MISLEADING   REPUTATION
      OBSCURES   AND EXACERBATES THE PROBLEM OF WAGE
      THEFT.................................         .................108
      A.  How  the Popular Perception of California Obscures
          Reality ............................           .......... 108
      B.  Opposition to the WTPA              ............11............I
      C.  Opposition to Pre-Judgment Wage Liens......           ......113


    * Doctoral candidate, University of California, Irvine, Department of Criminology, Law
and Society; J.D. 2015, University of California, Irvine; Law Clerk, Harry T. Edwards, D.C.
Circuit Court of Appeals, 2016-17. I would like to thank Professors Catherine Fisk, Mario
Barnes, Kaaryn Gustafson, and Saru Matambanadzo for their enormously helpful guidance and
comments on drafts of this article. Many thanks also to UC Irvine's Center in Law, Society and
Culture for providing me with a generous fellowship to help me complete this project, to
Catherine Fisk and Mona Lynch for administering that fellowship, and to James Peterson for
funding it.


71

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