Labor Voices: Crack down on wage theft

Friday, 10 November 2017, 10:17:03 AM. Corporate CEOs are stealing nearly $500 million in wages from working people in Michigan each year
In Michigan, we put a high value on a hard day’s work. Whether you spend your day waiting tables, swinging a hammer on a construction site, or working behind a desk, everyone who works for a living should get paid for the work they do. But according to a report from the Economic Policy Institute, corporate CEOs are stealing nearly $500 million in wages from working people in Michigan each year. That’s outrageous. It’s bad for families, bad for the economy, and it needs to stop. Wage theft occurs when an employer fails to pay their employees the full wages they have earned. According to the EPI, wage theft can take many different forms, such as: paying less than the minimum wage; failing to pay nonexempt employees time-and-a-half for overtime; requiring employees to work off-the-clock before or after their shifts; stealing tips from employees; misclassifying employees as independent contractors to circumvent minimum wage and tax withholding; and denying people their legal meal breaks. The good news is, Democrats in Lansing are doing something about it. Last week Sen. Jim Ananich, D-Flint, and Rep. Sam Singh, D-East Lansing, announced new legislation to crack down on wage theft and protect working families. The bills would: Make enforcement a priority by doubling the number of staff in the state agency that is responsible for investigating wage theft cases. Pay back stolen wages to employees, and increase the amount wage theft violators must pay the employees from two times the...Read more
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