Los Angeles leaders say low income being cheated out of their wages in what's known as wage left is a growing problem. Now a high profile company is being sued by some of its workers.
A single mother who used to work for Hertz says she is one of them.
Chalissa Johnson says she was denied lunch breaks and routinely forced to work past the time she clocked out. Her lawyers filed a class action lawsuit against the car rental company on behalf of Johnson and two other former employees.
They allege Hertz forced workers to skip meal and rest breaks, failed to pay employees for hours worked and refused to pay overtime.
"This is something we know has been happening through Los Angeles and the neighboring counties but we believe it's just the tip of the iceberg," one of her attorneys, Sean Andrade says.
Johnson says the alleged practices forced her out of the company.
"I was forced to clock out and to stay behind and still work and it was very difficult," she says. "My daughter is special needs, it forced me to quit, I couldn't take it anymore," she adds.
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A UCLA Labor Center study estimates more than 600,000 workers in LA County are victims of so called wage theft, working without regular or overtime pay and losing meal breaks. LA County Supervisor Hilda Solis says minority women like Johnson are frequent victims. Their lost wages means lost tax revenue, which means taxpayers also pay a price.
"Fewer services, fewer library hours open things that really matter to people," Solis said.
In a statement, Hertz says they take the well-being of their employees very seriously but would not comment until they had reviewed the allegations.
UCLA calls LA the nation's wage theft capital.