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Study finds Californians not always paid minimum wage

Supporting a family on a minimum wage job can be a daily struggle, trying to figure out how best to make ends meet. According to a recent study, businesses are not making things any easier for their employees, often cheating them out of their well-deserved earnings.

The study — commissioned by the United States Labor Department — revealed that somewhere between 3.5 and 6.5 percent of workers in both California and New York actually receive less than the minimum wage for performing their duties.

The researchers examined data from 2011 from both states. They found that, in all, 11 percent of workers in low-wage positions were subjected to minimum wage violations.

In total, over 300,000 workers in California and New York were the victim of a minimum wage violation every month, according to the study. If the results of the study are extrapolated to the United States as a whole, that would account for over 2 million workers facing minimum wage violations each month across the country.

According to the researchers, the following industries had the most violations:

Educational and health services
Retail and wholesale
In total, the lost wages accounted for 49 percent of the income of these California workers for a total loss of $29 million each week.

San Francisco minimum wage

While these violations can seriously affect low-wage workers in California, people in San Francisco are taking action in an effort to improve the status quo for workers making the minimum wage.

During the last election in November 2014, voters in San Francisco approved a measure on the ballot to increase the minimum wage. Currently, the minimum wage in San Francisco is $10.74 per hour. As of the New Year, the minimum raise in the city will increase to $11.05. After a few more incremental increases, the minimum wage will reach its final target of $15 per hour by July 1, 2018.

With the approved measure, San Francisco became the second city in the nation — after Seattle — to approve a minimum wage increase to $15 per hour.

Talk to an employment lawyer

If you have been subjected to a minimum wage violation or any other wage and hour violation in San Francisco, you need an experienced legal professional on your side. In such situations, you should consider seeking the counsel of the attorneys at Bracamontes & Vlasak, P.C., who will work to ensure your rights are protected.