What is “WAGE THEFT?” It is when businesses illegally underpay their employees.
SEE BELOW FOR EXAMPLES 1
You work off the books
Forced to clock out early and keep working
The vast majority of wage theft violations in Los Angeles – NEARLY 55% –
are due to failure to pay minimum wage.
Tips were stolen
Don't receive meal or rest breaks
Are forced to work through mandatory screening or processes
Illegal deductions taken out of their paycheck
All of the Robberies, Burglaries, Larcenies, And Motor Vehicle Thefts in the nation cost their victims less than $14 billion in 2012. That is only 1/3 of the estimated cost of wage theft nationwide. 5
Approximately $50 BILLION in wages are stolen every year from workers nationwide.2
In 2012, Federal and State Departments of labor and lawyers recovered at least $933 million in wages, which is less than 2 percent of the amount estimated stolen. 12
Average loss per worker was $51, out of average weekly earnings of $339. over the course of a year was $2,634, out of total earnings of $17,616. 3
83% of workers who win their wage theft case never see a dime.4
A three-city (NY, Chicago and Los Angeles) study of workers in low-wage industries found that in any given week, two-thirds experienced at least one pay-related violation. 6
Enough to provide jobs to the whole population of Rhode Island
Fifty Billion Dollars a year is enough to provide over 1.2 million people with jobs — and pay them $20 an Hour. 7
FLSA Cases in Federal Court 8
19001, 1993-19991, 2000-20132
from wage and hour violators.
of labor in 44 states recovered
general in 45 states recovered 11
Private attorneys recovered
in wage and hour class action lawsuits.
NEW YORK HAS THE STRONGEST LAW IN THE COUNTRY 12
New York's Wage Theft Prevention Act operates on three levels: Punitive, Protective and Administrative.
It increases penalties from 25 percent of stolen wages to 100 percent (if an employer steals $1,000, the worker could win back $2,000, instead of $1,250).
If the employer doesn’t pay up in 90 days, the amount increases by 15 percent.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FIGHTING BACK
Strengthen Government Enforcement of Employment and labor laws 13
Establish Equal Status for Immigrants in the Workplace
Update Legal Standards for the 21st Century Workplace