Wage theft is the illegal practice of not paying workers for all of their work including; violating minimum wage laws, not paying overtime, forcing workers to work off the clock, refusing to award the step increases earned and much more. It is a major problem worldwide. The recent events in Prince George’s County were the local county government was caught red handed failing to either pay students in summer camp timely or paid them less than they were supposed to, is wage theft. In addition all the steps which teachers and School administrators were supposed to receive but denied or missed deliberately without getting compensated after earning those steps for higher pay is wage theft too.
“Wage theft covers a variety of infractions that occur when workers do not receive their legally or contractually promised wages. Common forms of wage theft are: not giving workers their last paycheck after a worker leaves a job, not paying for all the hours worked etc.”
Every working person in Prince George’s County deserves to be paid fairly and fully for their labor. The local government using tax payer funds should not be seen to use facebook activists to help cover up or mislead the public for their own selfish motives. The users of social media on Facebook or twitter must also understand that nothing on social media is private. This is especially true when elected official such County Executive and others in Maryland legislature are involved in swaying a local group such as (parents and PGCPS) with ulterior motives to advance shenanigans at the expense of local delivery. “Water carrier” for Executives and politicians involved in questionable activities must be rejected. “carrying someone’s water” such as in this case implies that the water carrier agrees with and supports the more powerful person such as Mr. Baker and other leaders engaged in questionable activities even when they are clearly on the wrong.
Employers are stealing money from working people by cheating them of wages owed or not paying them at all. Failing to pay for even a few minutes of labor, such as not paying for time spent preparing a work station at the start of a shift, or for cleaning up and closing up at the end of a shift, can quickly add up. The Economic Policy Institute found that working people lose as much as $50 billion every year to wage theft.
In the current system it is easy for unscrupulous employers to avoid the consequences of their actions. In fact, employers in private sector often close up shop or open up their business under another name to avoid paying their workers across the United States.
Examples of Wage theft affecting families in the United States and worldwide.
Wage theft has huge consequences for workers across industries who are just looking to receive a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work. Just recently, the Los Angeles Times detailed the stories of 11 workers at a West Los Angeles bakery were paid just two dollars an hour over a two year period. Some of the workers were forced to work 17 hours a day.
In Maryland, ‘Wage theft’ continues to prevail in post-recession economy . Aggrieved workers can take their cases either to law enforcement or to civil court.
The number of lawsuits alleging employer violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act has more than tripled in the past decade, according to an annual study released by Seyfarth Shaw, a law firm that specializes in labor and employment law.
Heriberto Zamora worked for one of the most expensive restaurants in the country, Beverly Hills’s acclaimed sushi restaurant Urasawa. Though he worked nearly 60 hours per week and 12-14 hour shifts, he did not receive overtime. When one day, after an eight hour shift, he asked to go home because he was sick, his boss fired him on the spot.
The California Labor Commissioner issued his employer a judgment to pay over $38,000 to Zamora and his coworkers, they found the law did not have teeth and he wasn’t able to collect. He finally received payment, after local organization Koreatown Immigrant Workers Alliance heavily advocated for him.
In Los Angeles alone, low-wage workers lose $26.2 million in wage theft violations every week–making it the wage theft capital of the country.
In Zimbabwe more than 100 women gathered in October 2013 to peacefully protest at the state controlled Hwange Colliery coal mine in western Zimbabwe, where many mine workers had gone months to almost a year without pay.
Now, the rubber hits the road. Soon Budget decisions will be happening after hearings based on aggrieved parents and workers here in Prince George’s County to determine how wage theft enforcement will happen and if it will be efficient and effective.
More to come!