Too many workers in North Carolina are suffering from wage theft—when employers refuse to pay their employees all the money they have earned and are owed.
A recent op-ed in the Washington Post (via the N&O) rightfully called on Congress to give the US Department of Labor (USDOL) the funding it needs to better fight this problem. Wage theft comes in many forms: refusing to pay the required or agreed upon wage, refusing to pay one and a half the regular rate for overtime hours, misclassifying workers as exempt from overtime, treating workers as independent contractors when they are really employees, requiring tipped employees to participate in a tip pool with non-tipped workers, making unlawful deduction from pay and not compensating workers for all the time they are working.
“Enforcement should be a bipartisan issue. If politicians truly care about inequality and fairness, reducing reliance on public assistance, making sure that the system isn’t ‘rigged’ against the little guy, and, for that matter, ‘law and order,’ they should start by enforcing the laws already on the books – and by making sure hard-working Americans get every cent to which they are entitled.”
But, that isn’t the case. “In each of the past three years, the Obama administration has requested funding for more investigators; each time, Congress has denied the request.”
The good news is that USDOL has still managed to play an active role in enforcing wage and hour laws. Read more