Three Palm Beach County commissioners open to wage-theft law
WEST PALM BEACH — Two Palm Beach County commissioners said Thursday night they would support a wage-theft ordinance similar to one Miami-Dade County has approved, and a third said she thinks a compromise could be reached on the issue.
Commissioners Paulette Burdick and Jess R. Santamaria offered their support at the annual assembly of People Engaged in Active Community Efforts, or PEACE, a grassroots organization of local churches.
An estimated crowd of 2,000 people gathered for the meeting at the Palm Beach County Convention Center. PEACE also questioned Santamaria about high unemployment in the Glades.
Palm Beach County commissioners are expected to considered a wage-theft proposal in the next 90 days that could be similar to the Miami-Dade law. It creates a process that workers can use to recover wages from an employer who fails to pay them an agreed-upon amount. Before that, workers in Miami-Dade had to go to court to recover their wages, which often is a costly process.
A Florida International University study found the Miami-Dade program has recovered more than $400,000 in unpaid wages since it began in 2010. An effort to ban counties from imposing such laws failed in the state Legislature this year.