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AB-1003 Wage theft: grand theft.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 02/18/2021 09:00 PM
AB1003:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1003


Introduced by Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez

February 18, 2021


An act to add Section 487m to the Penal Code, relating to grand theft.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1003, as introduced, Lorena Gonzalez. Wage theft: grand theft.
Existing law regulates the payment of wages and benefits in the state. Existing law makes violation of specified wage provisions a misdemeanor and provides for civil penalties and remedies for the recovery of wages.
Existing law defines the crime of grand theft as theft committed when the money, labor, or real or personal property taken is of a value exceeding $950. Under existing law, grand theft is punishable either as a misdemeanor by imprisonment in a county jail for up to 1 year or as a felony by imprisonment in county jail for 16 months or 2 or 3 years, by a specified fine, or by a fine and that imprisonment.
This bill would make the intentional theft of wages, as defined, in an amount greater than $950, in aggregate, by an employer from one or more employees, punishable as grand theft. The bill would prohibit an act that is punished as grand theft from being punished under any other criminal provision, but would authorize wages, benefits, or other compensation to be recovered in a civil action by the employee or the Labor Commissioner. By increasing the penalty for a crime and by creating a new crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 487m is added to the Penal Code, to read:

487m.
 (a) Notwithstanding Sections 215 and 216 of the Labor Code, the intentional theft of wages in an amount greater than nine hundred fifty dollars ($950), in aggregate, by an employer from one or more employees may be punished as grand theft.
(b) For purposes of this section, “theft of wages” includes any violation of the law that results in an employee being deprived of wages, as defined in Section 200 of the Labor Code, benefits, or other compensation due to the employee under the law.
(c) An act that is punished pursuant to this section shall not be punishable under any other criminal provision, but wages, benefits, or other compensation may be recovered in a civil action by the employee or the Labor Commissioner.

SEC. 2.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.