The crime wave no one is talking about

There are now two very good reasons to be excited it’s November 18.

One: It’s Owen Wilson’s birthday.

Two: It’s the National Day of Action Against Wage Theft.

Across the country, corrupt employers are abusing their workers’ rights and finding ways to cheat them out of their proper salary. Wage theft is the pervasive and illegal practice of not paying workers for all of their work. Bosses try to find ways to line their pockets with their employees’ money by refusing to let them take breaks, misclassifying them as independent contractors, or even paying under the minimum wage.

The amount of money employers take from their workers is staggering. In a recent piece for The Baltimore Sun, the director of the Workplace Justice Project at Baltimore’s Public Justice Center highlighted a survey of low-wage workers in three major cities. In it, researchers found that more than one-quarter of the workers who participated were paid less than the minimum wage in the preceding week, and more than three-quarters were not properly paid overtime. All that adds up: the researchers did the math, and found that such workers lose $56.4 million per week in wage violations.

And workers are not the only people missing out on wages. The economy is struggling to stay on its feet and, as a result of wage theft, many families are being unfairly left without money to spend on basic necessities.

Now, Interfaith Worker Justice, a network of people of faith supporting the rights of workers, has dedicated November 18 to stopping the “crime wave no one talks about.” Today, workers, organizers, public officials, and religious leaders in more than 50 cities across the country are holding events to talk about America’s wage theft crisis and the need for federal legislation to put an end to the practice. Wage theft might not be as dramatic and sensational as robbing a bank or breaking into someone’s home, but it’s a form of robbery nonetheless. And Americans need to gather together and pressure employers to start respecting their workers and giving them the wages they’ve rightfully earned.

Find events in your area or get ideas to hold your own events here.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, November 18th, 2010 at 6:23 pm and is filed under General, Labor Law Reform, jobs. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses to “The crime wave no one is talking about”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by AmericanRightsAtWork, Briana Kerensky. Briana Kerensky said: New blog post! Wage theft: the crime wave no one is talking about [...]

  2. Divorce Docs says:

    Amen. Employers have been stealing from their workers for years. It’s not just forcing them to work through lunch and not take breaks. The real wage has not even kept up with inflation for the last 25 years or more. I’m making less now than I did 20 years ago in real terms.

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