Dept of Labor shares how L.A. immigrants are often underpaid by employers

The Department of Labor reveals findings that Los Angeles restaurant, garment factory, child care, and retail employers often do not offer adequate compensation to their workers, World Journal (世界日報) reports. Many of these employees are new immigrants who keep silent out of fear of being fired.

According to Department of Labor investigator Xin Yu, about 72 percent of L.A. restaurants they have investigated have been found to violate labor law in the past six years.  One of the common violations is in the way employees are paid. An employee on a biweekly payment schedule should get paid every two weeks, or 26 times a year. But some employees are only being paid twice a month, regardless of the number of weeks in that period, which reduces the yearly payments. Other frequent restaurant violations involves employers requiring workers to labor during their lunch break without providing compensation, hiring workers on a probation period and never paying them, and demanding overtime without compensation.

Ms. Jiang, who works at a Chinese employment agency, told the World Journal that babysitters generally have monthly salaries ranging from $1600 to $1800 with housing and meals provided. It's hard to calculate the hours a babysitter works in a day, and some employers therefore do not pay them overtime. This also happens in garment factories, where payment is based on the number of clothes an employee manufactures. 

Yu encourages all employees to report any suspected violations. For more information regarding the law, contact the Los Angeles County Department of Labor at (213) 894-6375 or their West Covina office at (626) 966-0478.

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