Friday, September 12, 2014

Identifying The Real Robbers -- Employers

Kudos once again to the Economic Policy Institute for its latest study on the widespread practice by employers of wage theft. Workers struggling to make ends meet at sub-living-wage levels are also subjected to the denial of earned income through a range of nefarious practices by employers. The cost?

It is useful to compare the cost of these wage and hour violations with crimes that are better recognized and greatly more feared, though they are much smaller in their overall dollar impact. All of the robberies, burglaries, larcenies, and motor vehicle thefts in the nation cost their victims less than $14 billion in 2012, according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports. That is well over one-third of the estimated cost of wage theft nationwide.

Another instance of criminal class warfare that goes largely unacknowledged and unpunished.


  1. This doesn't entirely surprise me. However, I am very fortunate to work for an employer whom I do not usually experience wage theft from, and whom I don't mind going out of my way to help occasionally. Needless to say, not everyone is in such a position.

    One point of contention that I have always had on an issue relevant to this one is the idea of tipping. I've always disliked tipping under the idea that certain service workers are paid scoff-worthy wages, and make up for it in tips -- especially the idea that certain jobs are more tip-worthy than others. As such, I have always adopted the philosophy that any job I cannot do myself, when performed well, ought to be tipped. Of course, many people do not agree with this philosophy, and have said that tipping should be obligatory, again, due to the wage levels of certain jobs. I've always pointed out that employers are legally required to compensate workers to at least the federal minimum wage if their wage + tips doesn't equate to the federal minimum wage []. Responses to this have also been negative; many often say that such a system doesn't work, or that employers don't care.

    Such may be the case, but it seems to me that workers have a responsibility to not just themselves, but to one another, to see to it that these avenues which were established for the benefit of all workers are extensively used to cripple and curtail the exploitation which is incentivized by neoliberal corporate culture. Really, it's a small part of a much larger civic duty we have to one another. So, I would urge anyone to stand up for themselves and others in their position by pointing out, criticizing, and taking legal action against wage theft whenever it occurs.

  2. When are we going to do something about this? We have to get organized and start making changes instead of letting the bad guys win. I can't do it alone, as professor Jaffe said in class today "we have the numbers" so when are we going to make the numbers count and get off our asses and fight. We are sitting here watching our country go down the drain and EVERYONE I know is complaining about the way things are. I'm ready but I don't know where to start. Tell me what to do, where to go and I will stand upfront with all of you!