Tag Archives: Report
Ruan on Wage Theft
Tuesday, October 16th, 2012 Posted in Uncategorized
For low-wage workers who suffer “wage theft” – employers illegally withholding portions of their wages – the dollars missing from their paychecks violate existing law and significantly impact the well-being of individuals, families, and communities. Despite this dire societal problem, the Supreme Court continues “closing the courtroom doors” in two ways: allowing employers to force workers out of court and into private arbitration; and prohibiting aggregate claims. Such trends, in combination, silence wage theft, leaving many claims unheard while unscrupulous employers gain direct advantage.
This Article explains how various procedural rulings have combined to prevent meaningful redress for wage theft. Because of high transaction costs and relatively low potential damages, low-wage workers are likely to recover their lost wages only if they band together with similarly-situated workers in an aggregate lawsuit. However, collective action is under attack: AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion, the latest Supreme Court case to approve of mandatory arbitration clauses, allowed a corporation to impose “agreements” mandating individual arbitration and barring class actions….
Hispanic Workers in North Carolina Hit by Wage Theft “Epidemic”
Saturday, September 29th, 2012 Posted in Uncategorized
Wage theft is becoming an “epidemic” in North Carolina, according to a study released Tuesday by the NC Justice Center’s Workers’ Rights Project and the University of North Carolina Immigration/Human Rights Clinic.
The report, “It doesn’t add up,” is based on interviews of 10 workers in the northern part of the state.
Their stories include the experiences of four undocumented Latino immigrants who work in construction, gardening and housecleaning, and a Hispanic…
Study: Wage theft rampant in Chicago car washes
Saturday, September 22nd, 2012 Posted in Uncategorized
It’s no secret these days that some Chicago employers pay workers less than what the law requires. It’s a practice known as wage theft. A University of Illinois study, released Thursday, suggests that wage theft in one Chicago industry goes beyond a few rogue employers. We report from our West Side bureau.
MITCHELL: Researchers at the university’s School of Labor and Employment Relations designed a survey that reached employees of 57 Chicago car washes. The researchers expected to turn up some wage-and-hour violations. But Alison Dickson Quesada — she designed the survey — she says the car wash wage theft was more widespread than she had ever imagined.
Wage ‘theft’ tab in Iowa: $600 million
Tuesday, August 28th, 2012 Posted in Uncategorized
About 266,000 low-wage Iowans lose an estimated $600 million annually from unscrupulous employers who fail to pay overtime, confiscate tips or take other pay-robbing actions, Iowa Policy Project said in a report on Monday.
“Workers’ hard-earned wages are being stolen, the state is losing revenues, and good businesses are being put at a market disadvantage against shifty competitors,” said Colin Gordon, a senior research consultant at Iowa Policy Project, a nonprofit Iowa City research group.
The state also loses out — an estimated $60 million in revenue annually because of theft, the group said in the report.
Gordon said the Iowa numbers were extrapolated using data that included a 2009 National Employment Law Project report. It concluded, based on surveys of low-wage earners in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles, that two-thirds experienced wage theft in a given week…
Evidence of Widespread Wage Theft in OR
Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012 Posted in Uncategorized
Wage theft is inherently challenging to quantify. Wage theft occurs when employers pay workers less than the minimum wage, don’t pay time-and-a-half for overtime hours, cheat on the number of hours worked, steal tips or don’t pay workers at all. Workers who are victims of wage theft may fear reprisal from their employers should they seek redress for their stolen wages, and many may not know how to obtain help in recovering losses.
Nevertheless, a growing body of research has begun to reveal that wage theft is a widespread problem in Oregon and the nation.
Download a copy of this fact sheet:
Find out what’s being done to stop wage theft:
Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industry wage claims
Wage claims filed with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) constitute an important source of information about wage theft in Oregon. Complaint-based sources such as this represent only a fraction of all violations because not all wage theft victims file complaints. Nevertheless, an analysis by OCPP of BOLI wage claim records found:
- Oregon workers from every industry sector filed 8,558 wage claims worth $24.5 million during the five-year period ending June 2011.
- From July 2010 through June 2011, workers filed a total of 1,159 claims with the bureau totaling $3.4 million.
- From July 2010 through June 2011, the construction industry posted the highest share of claims relative to the size of its workforce. Construction had 18 percent of total claims over the period, although its workforce comprised just 4 percent of all workers in the state.
- From July 2010 through June 2011, the accommodation and food services industry, which includes hotels and restaurants, had the highest number of total claims, accounting for about one-fifth of all claims.
New Report on Wage Theft in Houston
Tuesday, May 15th, 2012 Posted in Uncategorized
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
IWJ (National) Contact: Cathy Junia
HIWJ (Houston) Contact: Jose Eduardo Sanchez
Phone: (O) 713-862-8222; (M) 832-715-5975
REPORT HIGHLIGHTS PREVALENCE AND IMPACT OF WAGE THEFT IN HOUSTON
Groups around the country are fighting back to end this crime against workers
More than $753.2 million in wages are stolen from workers in the Houston region each year, according to a new report by the Houston Interfaith Worker Justice Center (HIWJ). The repercussions of this crime are city-wide and affect business owners, communities, and workers alike.
“We’ve always known about the great hardships faced by workers due to wage theft,” says Jose Eduardo Sanchez, HIWJ organizer and the report’s primary author. “However, we also know that there were effects beyond just the worker, that also affected entire communities and our local economy.”
The report — “Houston, We Have a Wage Theft Problem: The Impact of Wage Theft in Our City, and the Local Solutions Necessary to Stop It” — is available at www.downwithwagetheft.org or on our reports page.
Wage theft is a big problem in Houston, but it doesn’t just happen there. The reality is that every day, millions of workers across our country are being robbed and cheated by their employers. But workers and their allies are fighting back. HIWJ and a coalition of community, faith, and labor groups and a number of responsible businesses kicked off the Down With Wage Theft Campaign, pushing for steeper penalties, beefed-up enforcement and protections for workers who report stolen wages
Legislation has been passed in Texas, San Francisco, Seattle and Miami-Dade County. Several groups in other parts of the country are gearing up for wage theft campaigns in their areas. Stay tuned.
Interfaith Worker Justice has been organizing, educating and advocating at the intersection of work and faith since 1996. To learn more about the national campaign to end wage theft, visit www.iwj.org.
New PSN Report Surveys State Wage Theft Laws, Highlights New York as National Leader
Friday, April 20th, 2012 Posted in Uncategorized
One year after New York State took a major step to simultaneously plug its budget deficit and improve millions of families’ economic security by enacting the Wage Theft Prevention Act, a new report by Progressive States Network is naming New York state as a leader in wage theft prevention among the 50 states.
The report, Cracking Down on Wage Theft: State Strategies for Protecting Workers and Recovering Revenues, highlights New York’s law which went into effect April 9, 2011 and should help the state recover up to $427 million each year in lost revenue from underpayment of wages – amounting to $1.5 billion per year for workers in New York City alone. The report argues that the revenue so recovered would more than make up for the state’s projected $350 million budget gap, an important signal to other states that have not begun to address this problem.
Wage War: Employers Stealing Millions from US Workers
Wednesday, February 8th, 2012 Posted in Uncategorized
MIAMI – Workers nationwide are losing millions of dollars each week to wage theft as their employers, some unscrupulous, others scrambling to keep their businesses afloat, fail to pay the mandated minimum wage or overtime wages, or, in some cases, don’t pay their employees at all.
Wage theft is far more common than was known just a few years ago, according to a new report from the Research Institute on Social and Economic Policy at Florida International University.
“Employers are under a tight squeeze and looking for different ways to save money. Some are using wage theft as a business model to cut costs,” said Cynthia Hernandez, co-author of the report.
The research institute’s study comes just as Florida is debating how to handle wage theft allegations. The state hasn’t had a labor department since former Gov. Jeb Bush dismantled the department a decade ago.
Miami-Dade County has an ordinance against wage theft but has been sued by the Florida Retail Federation, which hopes to overturn the ordinance. The Florida Legislature is currently considering a statewide bill on wage theft.
Does your favorite restaurant take the high road with its workers?
Tuesday, February 7th, 2012 Posted in Uncategorized
Would you eat at a restaurant without knowing if the food has gotten a good review? How about basing the night’s dining destination on how well its employees are treated?
A new guide has been released rating restaurants not on the quality of their cuisine, but rather on fairness.
“Diners’ Guide 2012: A Consumer’s Guide on the Working Conditions of American Restaurants” evaluates establishments nationwide, from fast food to fine dining, ranking them on their labor practices.
“It’s the first national guide of its kind ever released,” says Saru Jayaraman, Executive Director of Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC-United) which commissioned the endeavor.
Report: Disney owed more than $400K in back wages
Friday, January 27th, 2012 Posted in Uncategorized
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. —
A report just released by a research group from Florida International University found Florida employees are losing out on millions in wages.
WFTV checked, and found that Disney was one of the biggest offenders.
Labor officials said Disney owed dozens of employees more than $430,000 in back pay between 2008 and 2010. The employees didn’t get paid for time when they worked from home.
The next closest offender owed nearly $300,000 less.
It’s called wage theft. It happens when an employer doesn’t pay you what the federal law requires.
New report documents the scourge of wage theft in Florida
Thursday, January 26th, 2012 Posted in Uncategorized
A study released Thursday shows that wage theft — employers stiffing workers out of money they are owed — remains a widespread problem that affects millions of Floridians, while this week the GOP-sponsored bill that would ban local anti-wage theft ordinances moved forward in a state Senate committee.
The Research Institute on Social and Economic Policy (known as RISEP) at Florida International University released its second study on wage theft in Florida that uses data from the U.S. Department of Labor and several community organizations. (Read the full report below)
Thursday, June 30th, 2011 Posted in Uncategorized
“One in every five low-wage workers in El Paso receives under minimum wage.” This is just one of the many disturbing findings presented by from Paso del Norte Civil Rights Project, Border Network for Human Rights, the Labor Justice Committee, Dr. Cristina Morales, and Eric Murillo who unveiled their report on wage theft and labor violations in the El Paso area today at the local office of the Border Network for Human Rights.
This groundbreaking report uncovers an epidemic of wage and hour violations running rampant in the El Paso area, and the impunity with which employers are able to violate their employees’ rights.
Get the full report on Wage Theft in El Paso [pdf 1.1 mb] See executive summary below.
The report shows that wage theft is a widespread problem that occurs when employers fail to pay employees for their work. In certain industries like construction and domestic work, wage theft occurs in epidemic proportions. Wage theft also undercuts responsible businesses who can’t compete, and hurts working families by forcing them to face unexpected hardships.
Behind the Kitchen Door: A Summit on the D.C. Restaurant Industry
Friday, February 18th, 2011 Posted in Uncategorized
On February 14th Eatonville Restaurant, located in the historic U Street district, hosted an event to discuss the findings of “Behind the Kitchen Door: Inequality & Opportunity in Washington, D.C.’s Thriving Restaurant Industry.” This report, conducted by the Restaurant Opportunities Center of Washington, D.C., Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, and the Washington, D.C. Restaurant Industry Coalition, is the most comprehensive ever conducted on the state of the District’s restaurant industry and its implications for the economic development, public health, and working conditions of the community.
ILRF was eager to take part in this event and stand in solidarity with ROC members. ILRF and ROC are both members of a new coalition called the Food Chain Workers Alliance and thus its important to connect issues of workers all along the food chain.
This summit was one of many being held on Valentines Day, which is the most profitable day of the year for restaurants, with similar events being held across the country, from L.A. to Miami, to discuss the findings of these city-specific reports, as well as a nation-wide report. The D.C. event included a great variety and caliber of panelists, including…
Wage theft hurts whole community
Sunday, December 12th, 2010 Posted in Uncategorized
Excerpts from the report, Wage Theft in Florida: A Real Problem with Real Solutions, which focuses on Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties and was prepared by the Research Institute on Social and Economic Policy at Florida International University:
The negative effects of illegally shortchanging workers’ wages ripple across communities and the economy. Families suffer when earnings are too low to meet basic needs. Local businesses and economies are denied vital stimulus that would flow from the additional spending of workers had they been paid all they had earned.
Honest businesses are undermined by unscrupulous competitors who practice wage theft. And governments at all levels take a hit, because they are denied taxes generated by higher earnings and because many working families must resort to public programs to meet basic needs when wages fall short.
Community-based organizations and the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) can be successful at aiding workers in recovering wages, but will not be able to resolve all cases due to the sheer volume of cases. In addition, the WHD has limited jurisdiction and does not cover all…
Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/12/04/1956762/wage-theft-hurts-whole-community.html#ixzz1FaGBrwCR
Report: Where are Ohio’s Wage Theft Enforcers?
Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010 Posted in Uncategorized
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Laws that protect worker wages are not being enforced as well as they could be in Ohio and other parts of the country, according to a new study. Policy Matters Ohio surveyed 43 state agencies and the District of Columbia on enforcement of laws covering the minimum wage, overtime, child labor and payment of wages, and discovered that altogether they employ one investigator to 146,000 sector workers.
Research director and report co-author Zach Schiller says the poorest and most vulnerable workers are most likely to suffer from wage theft. But he adds that it is more than just a workers’ rights issue.
“If an employer is not following the law and is not paying workers the amount to which the law requires, then other employers, who compete with that employer, are disadvantaged. ”
Schiller says that when…