WHAT IS WAGE THEFT?

What is “WAGE THEFT?” It is when businesses illegally underpay their employees..

SEE BELOW FOR EXAMPLES 1

 

 

 

55%

The vast majority of wage theft violations in Los Angeles – NEARLY 55% –

 are due to failure to pay minimum wage.

You work off the books

 

 

 

Forced to clock out early and keep working

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

HOW BIG IS THE PROBLEM?

$50 BILLION

Approximately $50 BILLION in wages are stolen every year from workers nationwide.2

 

Wage Theft

$14 BILLION

$5.3 BILLION

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

 

Larceny

$3.8 BILLION

$0.34 BILLION

$4.1 BILLION

 

Robbery

 

Auto theft

 

Burglary

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

 

WON

 

 

83% of workers who win their wage theft case never see a dime.4

 

Avg.

Loss Per

Worker

$2,634

$17,616

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

 

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

IT'S GETTING WORSE

FLSA Cases in Federal Court 8

19001, 1993-19991, 2000-20132

WHO IS HIT HARDEST?

ALL RESPONDENTS

GENDER

RACE

Women, Immigrants and People of Color are hit hardest by wage theft.10

FIGHTING BACK

Private attorneys recovered

$467 million

in wage and hour class action lawsuits.

U.S. DOL

recovered

$280 million

from wage and hour violators.

State departments

of labor in 44 states recovered

$172 million.

State attorneys

general in 45 states recovered 11

$14 million.

 

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.

punitive

protection

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

Contact Us

Sources:

  1. http://wagejustice.org/wage-theft-facts/
  2. http://www.epi.org/publication/epidemic-wage-theft-costing-workers-hundreds/
  3. http://www.epi.org/publication/epidemic-wage-theft-costing-workers-hundreds/
  4. https://www.labor.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/WageTheftEnglishIV.jpg
  5. http://www.epi.org/publication/epidemic-wage-theft-costing-workers-hundreds/
  6. http://www.epi.org/publication/epidemic-wage-theft-costing-workers-hundreds/
  7. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/les-leopold/wage-theft-comes-to-ameri_b_8398150.html
  8. http://www.epi.org/publication/epidemic-wage-theft-costing-workers-hundreds/
  9. http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/40605-wage-theft-is-costing-workers-50-billion-a-year-in-stolen-pay
  10. https://stateinnovation.org/issue/wage-theft/
  11. http://www.epi.org/publication/epidemic-wage-theft-costing-workers-hundreds/
  12. http://www.alternet.org/story/155710/wage_theft_epidemic%3A_bosses_pocket_15_percent_of_workers%27_pay?page=0%2C0
  13. http://nelp.3cdn.net/1797b93dd1ccdf9e7d_sdm6bc50n.pdf