Wage theft is a dirty little secret, but it’s not little and it’s really not a secret. Employers routinely violate basic workplace standards by not paying the minimum wage or overtime, calling workers “independent contractors” to deny them basic protections, and providing unsafe working conditions.
As many as a third of all U.S. workers – 35 to 46 million people – hold low-wage jobs that offer few prospects for advancement or wage growth.
Women are over-represented in part-time and temp jobs with lower wages, less job security and few or no benefits. The costs of supporting a family – housing, food, medical care, child care, transportation – are rising, putting families at risk.
“I worked for an employer who didn’t provide earned sick leave. I was forced to go to work sick. Since I wasn’t able to stay at home and recuperate it took me a lot longer to get well. Unfortunately, my younger children would then get sick and my older daughters had to stay home from school so I could go to work. I couldn’t afford not to get paid. Not only did this affect my daughters’ school attendance, but it put me in a position that no responsible parent wants to ever be in.” --Latosha, Atlanta