Key Labor Code Laws When Employers Misrepresent Their Work to Solicit Employees to Move

Labor Code 970 can be used as the basis for a civil complaint against an employer. It provides that:

This statute provides that:

“No person, or agent or officer thereof, directly or indirectly, shall influence, persuade, or engage any person to change from one place to another in this State or from any place outside to any place within the State, or from any place within the State to any place outside, for the purpose of working in any branch of labor, through or by means of knowingly false representations, whether spoken, written, or advertised in printed form, concerning either:

(a) The kind, character, or existence of such work;

(b) The length of time such work will last, or the compensation therefor;

(c) The sanitary or housing conditions relating to or surrounding the work;

(d) The existence or nonexistence of any strike, lockout, or other labor dispute affecting it and pending between the proposed employer and the persons then or last engaged in the performance of the labor for which the employee is sought.

Labor Code 972 authorizes double damages.

“In addition to such criminal penalty, any person, or agent or officer thereof who violates any provision of Section 970 is liable to the party aggrieved, in a civil action, for double damages resulting from such misrepresentations. Such civil action may be brought by an aggrieved person or his assigns or successors in interest, without first establishing any criminal liability.”

What damages are allowed?

Damages in this type of case generally include some or all of the following:

  • Wage loss due to the difference between what was promised before you moved and what was actually offered/paid when you moved.
  • Damage to your work reputation because you were forced to take a job below your work skills
  • Damages because you took this job over other job offers that paid more money

It helps to work with experienced employment lawyers who can help document that your enhanced role in a company was, why you agreed to relocate, that you were promised a higher salary, and that you were led to believe the move would make sense because it would be for the long-term and not just a few weeks or months.