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A New LA County Sheriff's Department Task Force Will Focus On Wage Theft

A job seeker looks at a job listing board at the East Bay Career Center. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
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Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva on Tuesday announced the creation of a task force that wil focus on wage theft. In some industries, undercounting workers' hours and/or denying them overtime pay is rampant.

Sheriff Villanueva says many workers don't report these issues because they fear their employer will retaliate against them and they'll lose their jobs. Workers without legal status are at higher risk of being victimized.

State Labor Commissioner Lilia Garcia-Brower says the task force will increase investigations of what are called "unsatisfied judgements" in L.A. County and refer them to the sheriff's department.

"These unsatisfied judgments are cases where a final decision has been reached affirming that a worker is owed wages, and yet the employer still doesn't pay," Garcia-Brower said at Tuesday's news conference.

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A research team from the California Labor Commission is increasing the number of investigations, according to officials.

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