In a victory for low-wage workers victimized by unscrupulous employers, California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed a bill this week making it easier for employees to collect wages they’re owed. The measure, called the Fair Day’s Pay Act, gives the California Labor Commissioner the authority to penalize employers found guilty of wage theft, and to collect back payment on behalf of workers. Employers found to have stolen wages—and shell corporations created to evade judgements—must post a bond of between $50,000 and $150,000 or risk the statewide banning of their operations. If they don’t pay up, the act empowers the Labor Commissioner to authorize a stop-work order against them or attach a lien to the employer’s property. The law also ensures that companies with contract employees—for janitorial services, landscaping and valet parking, for example—are held liable for stolen wages.

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