Washington State House Democrats


Wage thieves steal more money than is lost from all robberies in U.S.

A new report from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) shows that the biggest robbers in America just may be unethical employers.

 Most of us expect to be paid at an agreed upon rate for the amount of time we put in at our jobs. Work eight hours at $10 per hour, you should expect to be paid $80 for that labor.

However, wage theft is costing America’s workers a lot of their hard earned cash. According to the study, employers found guilty of wage theft had to pay had to pay back nearly three times more than all the money stolen in U.S. robberies.

In 2012 there were 292,074 robberies of all kinds. The total value of the property taken in those robberies was $340,850,358. While no one knows exactly how many instances of wage theft occurred, the EPI was able to find the amount of money recovered for victims of wage theft during 2012 was at least $933 million.

House Democrats attempted to address this insidious problem by passing House Bills 2331, 2332, 2333 & 2334. This package of legislation was designed to discourage wage theft, level the playing field for honest employers, and recover state revenues lost due to the deliberate misclassification of workers as independent contractors (another way some employers undercut worker compensation). All these measures died in the Republican-controlled Senate.

We must continue working towards making sure everyone gets the pay they have rightfully earned.