Many states have been slashing the budgets of minimum wage enforcement agencies (or doing away with them altogether). Many state wage laws also lack any attorneys fees provisions, which means that many low wage workers can’t get public or private representation. In such states, employers can essentially underpay workers with impunity. And again, the poorest get screwed the most.
A great new report was just released about labor and employment law violations in American Cities: Broken Laws, Unprotected Workers. The authors surveyed over 4,000 low-wage workers in major American cities concerning their work the previous week. Not surprisingly, they found that the vast majority of them were being screwed by their employers.
According to the report, over two-thirds of the workers surveyed suffered pay-related violations the previous week. The average pay for these workers was $399 per week. The average wage theft? $51 per week.