Monday, December 13, 2010

More on Wage Theft

On November 15, I wrote about the growing problem of wage theft. Others are also trying to raise media awareness on a practice that is illegal, immoral, and pervasive. You won't hear much about wage theft if you expect our corporate-owned media to tell the story.

David Love is hitting this story. In a blog post called Wage Theft: Thou Shall Not Steal From Your Workers, he references Interfaith Worker Justice (IWJ), a non-profit I noted in November was taking the lead on fighting wage theft. Among the depressing facts IWJ has uncovered, the average worker loses $2600 in unpaid wages every year. About 75% of low-wage workers who work 40+ hours per week are not receiving overtime pay, as federal law requires. And a great many people are incorrectly classified as independent contractors instead of employees because their employers avoid FICA, or payroll taxes, as well as minimum wage and overtime requirements. Avoiding FICA means the employer stiffs social security.
Kudos to Interfaith Worker Justice for caring enough to actually do something, and to David Love for raising awareness. Why does IWJ even have to fight this? It should be enough that IWJ points out a few infractions. Where are the government officials swooping in to stop this practice?

Where is our media? Isn't cheating workers out of their wages a sufficiently scandalous story? 

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