The Changing Landscape of State Wage Theft Laws: Recent Developments in Classification Issues, Overtime Protections, and Employee Benefits (On-Demand)

General Credits:
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Course Description

Over the course of the past several years, states and localities enacted wage theft statutes in the absence of new federal legislation. Broadly, wage theft means the non-payment or under-payment of wages, and it can take the form of failure to pay promised wages, non-compliance with minimum wage or overtime requirements, unauthorized deductions from pay, and failure to pay for all hours worked, among other forms. Federal law, such as the Fair Labor Standards Act, provides a cause of action for some but not all of these forms.

Wage theft is an important issue for workers, for companies, and for the public at-large. Studies have estimated that billions of dollars are lost every year just in minimum wage violations. Wage theft impacts workers, particularly workers in low-wage industries, and it also impacts the economy in the form of decreased income and payroll taxes, as well as unfair competition among businesses. To comply with new state and local wage theft laws, employers must now provide proper and timely payment of wages, while also ensuring proper recordkeeping, providing detailed wage statements to workers, reporting to state and local agencies, and avoiding retaliatory conduct toward workers who engage in protected activity, among other requirements.

In addition, in response to the growth of the gig economy, states and localities have passed legislation that specifically impacts gig workers, particularly app-based passenger and delivery drivers. States have developed unique classification tests for this group of workers, as well as provided for certain employee benefits that have become increasingly important as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Employers must be familiar with and comply with this patchwork of state and local laws to avoid potential civil and criminal penalties. This presentation will address features of state wage theft statutes, recent state legislation addressing gig workers, and general guidance for employers across the country.


  1. Features of recently enacted state wage theft laws
    • Classification as employee or independent contractor
    • Minimum pay and overtime protections
    • Employee benefits
  2. A closer look at state wage theft laws that impact gig workers
    • An overview of the gig economy
    • The ABC test and Prop 22 in California
    • Responses by other states
      • Massachusetts
      • Washington
      • Alabama
      • Georgia
      • Florida
      • South Dakota
  3. Litigation risks for companies


Caroline E. Bressman, Esq.

Credit Details

Course Type

Course Instructor

Caroline E. Bressman, Esq.

Original Date Of Course

General Credits