In These Times online edition has posted excerpts from book “Crisis of Wage Theft”. You can read the excerpts by clicking here.
The book describes the billions of dollars in wages are being illegally stolen from millions of workers each and every year through large corporations failing to pay workers minimum wages or time and half for overtime. It states:
Billions of dollars in wages are being illegally stolen from millions of workers each and every year. The employers range from small neighborhood businesses to some of the nation’s largest employers—Wal-Mart, Tyson, McDonald’s, Target, Pulte Homes, federal, state, and local governments and many more.
Wage theft occurs when workers are not paid all their wages, workers are denied overtime when they should be paid it, or workers aren’t paid at all for work they’ve performed. Wage theft is when an employer violates the law and deprives a worker of legally mandated wages.
Wage theft is widespread and pervasive across all types of companies. Various surveys have found that:
• 60 percent of nursing homes stole workers’ wages.
• 89 percent of nonmonitored garment factories in Los Angeles and 67 percent of nonmonitored garment factories in New York City stole workers’ wages.
• 25 percent of tomato producers, 35 percent of lettuce producers, 51 percent of cucumber producers, 58 percent of onion producers, and 62 percent of garlic producers hiring farm workers stole workers’ wages.
• 78 percent of restaurants in New Orleans stole workers’ wages.
• Almost half of day laborers, who tend to focus on construction work, have had their wages stolen.
• 100 percent of poultry plants steal workers’ wages.
Although wage theft is the most pernicious when employers steal money from workers earning low wages, wage theft affects many middle-income workers too, including construction workers, nurses, dieticians, writers, bookkeepers, and many more. Wage theft affects young workers, mid-career workers, and older workers. Although some of the worst wage theft occurs when immigrant workers aren’t paid minimum wage or aren’t paid at all, the largest dollar amounts are stolen from native-born white and black workers in unpaid overtime.
Millions of workers are having their wages stolen. Two, possibly as many as 3, million workers aren’t being paid the minimum wage. More than 3 million workers are misclassified by their employers as independent contractors when they are really employees, which means their employers aren’t paying their share of payroll taxes and many workers are being illegally denied overtime pay. Untold millions more aren’t being paid overtime because their employers claim they are exempt from the overtime laws, when they really aren’t. Several million more aren’t being paid for their breaks or have illegal deductions made from paychecks. The scope of these abuses is staggering.
If you believe you might be part of a class of employees forced to work off the clock or have othewise been denied overtime pay or were paid under the minimum wage, Lubin Austermuehle may be able to help your pursue your own overtime class action. For a free consultation on your rights as an employee, contact us today.
Our consumer rights private law firm handles individual and class action wage claim and other employee and consumer rights cases that government agencies and public interest law firms such as the Department of Labor may decide not pursue. Class action lawsuits our law firm has been involved in or spear-headed have led to substantial awards totalling over a million dollars to organizations including the National Association of Consumer Advocates, the National Consumer Law Center, and local law school consumer programs. Lubin Austermuehle is proud of our achievements in assisting national and local consumer rights organizations obtain the funds needed to ensure that consumers are protected and informed of their rights. By standing up to employee and consumer fraud and rip-offs, and in the right case filing employee or consumer protection lawsuits and class-actions you too can help ensure that other emploment and consumers’ rights are protected from unscrupulous, illegal or dishonest practices.
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