August 16, 2016

Biggest thieves in the country: employers

The Week

In dollar terms, what group of Americans steals the most from their fellow citizens each year?
The answer might surprise you: It's employers, many of whom are committing what's known as wage theft. It's not just about underpaying workers. They're not paying workers what they're legally owed for the labor they put in.
It takes different forms: not paying workers the federal, state, or local minimum wage; not paying them overtime; or just monkeying around with job titles to avoid regulations.
No one knows exactly how big a problem wage theft is, but in 2012 federal and state agencies recovered $933 million for victims of wage theft. By comparison, all the property taken in all the robberies of all types in 2012, solved or unsolved, amounted to a little under $341 million.
Remember, that $933 million is just the wage theft that's been addressed by authorities. The full scale of the problem is likely monumentally larger: Research suggests American workers are getting screwed out of $20 billion to $50 billion annually.


Anonymous said...

Another form of wage theft that tends to go completely unrecognized occurs when a business recognizes the impact of inflation and other cost of living increases by adjusting their price structure accordingly to maintain margins reflective of actual costs and purchase power, but, at the time fail to adjust employee compensation to a similar proportionate degree. This incremental erosion of employee purchase power in real terms, though still static in nominal terms, is absolutely equivalent to wage reductions/theft.
Part of the fallacy of the $15 minimum wage movement is that had wages remained proportional over the past years, minimum wage would actually reside somewhere in the mid-twenty dollar range. Bernie Sanders campaign retreat away from advocacy of a 'living wage' to adopting the Democratic Party's States Innovation Exchange campaign position of the $15 minimum was one glaring indication of Sanders having acquiesced to the party position---his 'revolution' wasn't, it turns out, so revolutionary as it was party polemic in a guise of populism.

Anonymous said...

Sanders got beat, knew he got beat, and leveraged what limelight he'd received into furthering his progressive-ish agenda in Congress.
It's called being pragmatic.