A Sustainable Workforce Starts With You

Wage Theft – A Widespread Issue

Last year a survey of over 4,000 low-wage workers in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles was released in the report, Broken Laws, Unprotected Workers: Violations of Employment and Labor Laws in America’s Cities.  The work was completed by three groups – The Center for Urban Economic Development at the University of Illinois, The National Employment Law Project, and the UCLA Institute for Research on Labor and Employment.

The purpose of the study was to take a look at the status of labor violations among the low-wage workers in those three cities.  Their findings are revealing in that they clearly point out the magnitude of minimum wage and overtime violations in the major cities of the country.  They point out three core findings in the report:

Finding 1: Workplace Violations Are Severe and Widespread in Low-Wage Labor Markets
Finding 2: Job and Employer Characteristics Are Key to Understanding Workplace Violations
Finding 3: All Workers Are at Risk of Workplace Violations

The report is data and interview specific and it points out the potential magnitude of wage theft in the country in a wide range of jobs including the construction industry.  The report points out a set of possible solutions that will likely be used in the upcoming months to address wage theft and worker misclassification legislation.

The report makes the point that workers in the urban areas of the country like Los Angeles, Chicago and New York are especially vulnerable to wage theft.  What does that mean for Houston, Dallas / Ft Worth, Atlanta, San Antonio, Phoenix and Miami?


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