AP NEWS

DeLauro: Low-wage workers often victims of employer theft

August 8, 2017 GMT

WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-3), along with U.S. senators Patty Murray (D-WA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Al Franken (D-MN), and U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott (VA-03), have introduced the Wage Theft Prevention and Wage Recovery Act to crack down on employers who unfairly withhold wages from their employees.

DeLauro said that the bill would give workers the right to receive full compensation for all of the work they perform, as well as the right to receive regular paystubs and final paychecks in a timely manner.

It would also provide workers with improved tools to recover their stolen wages in court and make assistance available to build community partnerships that enhance the enforcement of and improve compliance with wage and hour laws, she said.

“The biggest economic challenge facing our country is that too many people are in jobs that do not pay them enough to live on. Across the country, some workers are putting in long hours and working for an honest day’s pay, only to have their employers cheat them out of their hard-earned wages,” DeLauro said.”Wage theft is inexcusable and unconscionable, and our federal laws should hold employers who violate their employee’s right accountable.”

DeLauro said that the act “is comprehensive legislation that will strengthen current federal law and empower employees to recover their lost wages — whether it is compensation for a day’s work, or overtime, employees should be paid what they earn. This legislation not only protects workers, but it will help our economy grow.”

In May, the Economic Policy Institute published a new report finding that employers steal more than an estimated $15 billion from workers each year, with workers in low-wage industries at the greatest risk.