If big corporations wonder why average Americans think
they're pond scum, they need look no further than the recent efforts of the
Florida Retail Federation in favor of allowing companies to steal your wages.
That's right. The Florida Retail Federation has made two failed attempts now to
keep wage theft legal. Charming, especially considering that wage
theft is rampant in Florida.
Here's how it all started. Miami-Dade County was the first county in the nation
to pass a law
against companies who steal employee wages. Here's what Miami says about
The Wage Theft Ordinance policy is to eliminate and
prevent wage theft. Eliminating the underpayment or nonpayment of wages earned
by persons working in the County serves the public purpose by promoting
economic security and dignity for those working in the County; by promoting
business and economic development through the elimination of unfair economic
competition by unscrupulous businesses that do not pay or that underpay their
employees; and to relieve the burden on the public that subsidizes unscrupulous
employers whose employees are forced to rely on public assistance because of
unpaid or underpaid wages. An employer who is found to have violated the Wage
Theft Ordinance by unlawfully failing to pay any portion of wages due will have
to pay back-pay and liquidated damages to the employee in addition to
administrative fees and hearing costs.
Sounds great, right? I mean, nobody supports employers
who steal wages, do they? Wrong-o. In steps the Florida Retail Federation.
First, they try to get the GOP-run legislature to pass a
law prohibiting counties and cities from passing wage theft ordinances. It
actually passed the Florida House, but the Senate had better sense than to come
out in favor of having their constituents' wages stolen.
What's a big-industry group to do? Sue, of course. Fortunately, a local
judge tossed the suit, saying counties have the ability to prohibit wage
theft if they want.
The sad fact is that many employers, at least in my neck of the woods, are
failing to pay their employees. Some employees are led on for months as the
employer gets further and further behind, with promises that they will catch
up. Some are simply never paid their last few checks. Some don't get their last
check when they leave. It's theft, plain and simple. Big companies who provide
products and services and don't get paid cry theft and fraud and bring in the
lawyers. If employees leave with one extra pen or paperclip, the police show up
at their homes. Why shouldn't their employees be able to do the same when they
Wage theft should be a criminal offense nationwide. If sleazy employers aren't
scared of the Department of Labor, maybe they'll pay up when the local sheriff
See more employment law posts on Donna
Ballman's blog, Screw You Guys, I'm Going Home.
For more information about LexisNexis
products and solutions connect with us through our corporate site.
useful and informative post on wage theft.. thanks for discussing this topic...