Tag Archives: State – Michigan
Grand Rapids looks at tying ‘wage theft’ to city contracts
Wednesday, July 11th, 2012 Posted in Uncategorized
GRAND RAPIDS, MI – After hearing from a task force that a “national epidemic” of wage theft is prevalent in Grand Rapids, city officials are considering new regulations on companies with whom they do public business.
The Micah Center, a Christian non-profit housed at Hope Reformed Church, wants Grand Rapids to discourage city contractors from engaging in wage theft, a term for underpaying or withholding wages from workers. The center’s 3-point proposal: any business that wants to contract with the city must self-certify that they have not engaged in wage theft during the previous two years and will not do so during the course of their proposed contract with the city
1. if a business is found to be involved in wage theft, the city will withhold payment until workers are properly compensated, and the business will be ineligible for city contracts for some period of time based on the severity of the wage theft
2. businesses that contract with the city must post a list of workers’ wage rights in a visible place, as well as the telephone number of a “wage theft hotline” to be staffed by task force members
3. “It’s saying ‘If you get city contracts, you just have to follow the law,’” said Kim Bobo, executive director of Chicago-based Interfaith Worker Justice and author of “Wage Theft in America.”
“If you’re using public dollars, at the minimum you ought to obey the law. The eighth commandment is short and clear: ‘Thou shalt not steal.’”
At the urging of The Micah Center, Mayor George Heartwell two years ago commissioned a task force to study wage theft and …
Local Wage Theft Campaign kicks off this Tuesday in Grand Rapids
Tuesday, September 20th, 2011 Posted in Uncategorized
The Micah Center and the Michigan Organizing Project have been doing the ground work to organize a campaign against Wage Theft in Grand Rapids. With the support of Grand Rapids City Mayor George Heartwell, the local effort is being this Tuesday where the Micah Center will show a new documentary, which features local workers who have experienced Wage Theft.
The event will also let people know about how they can get involved in the Grand Rapids campaign. The event will be held on Tuesday, September 20 at Hope Reformed Church, located at 2010 Kalamazoo, SE, Grand Rapids. The event begins at 6:00PM.
Wage theft the topic of discussion at Bernhard Center
Wednesday, March 16th, 2011 Posted in Uncategorized
Thousands of dollars of unpaid wages are owed to the Kalamazoo community’s immigrant workers, said representatives of a local worker advocacy group at Tuesday evening’s Eta Eta Sigma meeting.
Adrian Vazquez, Juan Alvarez and Maria Gomez of the Kalamazoo Community Work Center discussed the issues facing Michigan’s immigrant work force at the forum, held in Western Michigan University’s Bernhard Center. One of the major problems they discussed was the issue of wage theft, or the illegal underpayment or non-payment of worker’s wages.
“If you ask, you can probably find someone you know who was a victim of wage theft,” Vazquez said. “It will continue to go on until someone stops it.”
Vazquez pointed to a recent survey of local Hispanic workers that showed that 46 of the 184 respondents were victims of wage theft. Over half of those victims were owed $800 or more in wages, Vasquez said.
“This has happened in Kalamazoo,” he added. “[Any employer] can do it; anybody can abuse you.”
Alvarez gave attendees an example of this fact, describing how a local landscaping company had neglected payment to contractors in the amount of nearly $25,000.
In order to combat this practice, the organization has created the Kalamazoo Fair Competition and Just Payment Ordinance, which will provide greater protection to contracted workers, as well as granting local police greater ability to collect unpaid wages from employers.
Vasquez said he hopes…