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Sun Nov 10, 2013, 05:12 AM

Wage theft outstrips bank, gas station and convenience store robberies

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/11/05/1253318/-Wage-theft-outstrips-bank-gas-station-and-convenience-store-robberies


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Fully 64 percent of low-wage workers have some amount of pay stolen out of their paychecks by their employers every week, including 26 percent who are effectively paid less than minimum wage. Fully three-quarters of workers who are due overtime have part or all of their earned overtime wages stolen by their employer. In total, the average low-wage worker loses a stunning $2,634 per year in unpaid wages, representing 15 percent of their earned income.

And enforcement? Forget about it. At the federal level, there's just one agent enforcing wage laws for every 141,000 workers. More than half of the states have cut wage enforcement staff in recent years, and some states have tried to eliminate those positions entirely. For instance,

In 2010, Missouri’s labor department collected $200,000 in restitution for minimum-wage violations and $500,000 for prevailing-wage violations, and issued 1,714 citations for child-labor violations. Yet [Republican state House Speaker Steven] Tilley charged that investigators were being “overzealous,” particularly in prosecuting complaints of employers cheating on prevailing wages.

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Reply Wage theft outstrips bank, gas station and convenience store robberies (Original post)
eridani Nov 2013 OP
Ava Gadro Nov 2013 #1
OnionPatch Nov 2013 #13
gollygee Nov 2013 #2
me b zola Nov 2013 #3
Laelth Nov 2013 #4
hollysmom Nov 2013 #5
Fortinbras Armstrong Nov 2013 #11
Fridays Child Nov 2013 #6
freedom fighter jh Nov 2013 #9
A Simple Game Nov 2013 #12
Fridays Child Nov 2013 #15
FreakinDJ Nov 2013 #7
Stuart G Nov 2013 #8
fasttense Nov 2013 #10
JoeyT Nov 2013 #14
Quantess Nov 2013 #16
ThoughtCriminal Nov 2013 #17
Dawson Leery Nov 2013 #18

Response to eridani (Original post)

Sun Nov 10, 2013, 06:38 AM

1. I worked at a gas station

that did this to me. They cashed the checks themselves then dock me for runoffs. They would even dock me for missing cartons of cigarettes. I do not smoke. After two weeks, I quit because I was not bringing home enough to make it worth my time. I am sure it was their way of getting around the minimum wage law.

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Response to Ava Gadro (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 10, 2013, 11:14 AM

13. My sister had the same thing happen to her.

She worked at a gas station / convenience store when she went to college. They deducted from her pay regularly every time the register didn't come out even. She would come home crying because she tried so hard not to lose a cent and would still come out $40-$100 under at least once a week or so. We knew these losses weren't her fault. She was a brainy, straight-A student and certainly knew how to make change. (In fact, she's an accountant today, a very good one.) She finally quit because of it and a few months later her ex-boss was arrested for stealing from the company. We knew right then and there that the register underages were all of his making.

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Sun Nov 10, 2013, 06:46 AM

2. This doesn't surprise me

I've seen this a couple of places.

1. Places that require you to punch the clock but then don't let you leave after you've punched the clock.

2. Places that try not to pay overtime in a variety of ways.

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Sun Nov 10, 2013, 06:47 AM

3. K&R

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Sun Nov 10, 2013, 06:53 AM

4. k&r for labor. n/t

-Laelth

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Sun Nov 10, 2013, 06:59 AM

5. Even as a high paid consultant, they tried to cheat me

I never kept my eye on the clock, but in one company,they came up to me and said I HAD to work an extra half hour a day without billing them because their delivery people had to clean up on their own time. I asked them what it had to do with me and the manager of the department said that because the union workers had to do it, we all had to be there a 1/2 extra. I told them I would have to clear it with my company as I was a sub contractor. My company said what the???? After that I left at exactly 5. I hate when people pull that crap. But then they did all kinds of stupid complaints. Like I got too many phone calls a day - when I rarely got any since I did not have my family call and did not give my office number out to my friends. I just check my home answering machine at lunch. Or When the department manager came over and said he had to interrupt our gal chit chat when we were talking about a subroutine that was working differently in different programs. Basically they were trying to dispute our charges after we left saying we did not do good work. My favorite was when they called me back in to explain why I had a program that was almost all comments. I kept a change history in front of the program and never removed lines because I would get so many changes, half the time I would have to put them back. Specifically, when my direct report decided to keep some debit figures in a field called credit blah blah blah, I had to go to the DBA and explain why this was a bad practice and they over ruled the person I reported to. I could not reason with that person and did not like leaving stupid programs behind that could be held against me. I tired to be nice and helpful, do not usually expose idiots, but when they don't listen to reason and when they steal your manuals and books, well, it was not a good scene.

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Response to hollysmom (Reply #5)

Sun Nov 10, 2013, 08:16 AM

11. In the early 1980s, I worked for what was then Bell Labs

We were expected to work 50-60 hour weeks. And while theoretically we were supposed to be paid overtime, trying to get it was such a hassle that no one bothered.

One thing I remember was my bosses' boss calling me into his office because he had seen me coming in to work at half past ten. I told him that I had been working on a hardware installation for a computer that turned out to be problematical (I was upgrading the RAM on the DEC PDP 11/70 from half a megabyte to 1.5 megabytes, and I discovered that PWB Unix release 2.0 could only address one megabyte of RAM. Of course, before I changed the kernel parameters, I had to ensure that it was not a problem with the RAM itself) and it took me until 2 in the morning. I will say that he apologized for chewing me out for supposedly coming in late, but it still rankled.

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Sun Nov 10, 2013, 07:08 AM

6. More crimes committed by the ruling class while we're busy shaking our fingers at each other.

The cost of everything continues to spiral out of control, as wages for the 99% remain flat or even decrease. And now we learn that employers are reaching into our pockets and robbing us?

The 1% must be held accountable. But, as long as they can manage to keep us at each other's throats, they know we won't be coming after them.

What if we could find a way past the anger that stops us from finding common ground with the rank-and-file right wing? That might be powerful.

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Response to Fridays Child (Reply #6)

Sun Nov 10, 2013, 07:57 AM

9. Yes.

I think the answer will be in solidarity.

We need to join forces with as many people as we can, and that must include the right wing, because there are so many of them. We can do this by, as you say, finding common ground, without compromising on our important differences.

We could start by extending an olive branch: Stop making fun of them. Our contempt for them is obvious and they resent it. For the most part we're better educated, and it shows, but that doesn't mean we're smarter. Speaking as someone who does editorial work and went through grade school as the best speller in the class, I can tell you that being unable to spell is not a sign of stupidity. Oh, and if spelling and grammar errors *were* a sign of stupidity, then I'd have to question the IQs of many who post here. I see stuff here all the time that makes us snicker when Teabaggers do it.

I doubt that anyone can defend wage theft other than those who benefit from it directly. And I doubt that most right wingers are company owners or managers -- there just aren't that many owners and managers. Yet I'm sure a lot of right wingers are wage theft victims. That's common ground.

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Response to freedom fighter jh (Reply #9)

Sun Nov 10, 2013, 08:31 AM

12. We have to achieve solidarity with the right. We have far more in common

with the rank and file Republicans than we do our Democratic Representatives or Senators.

Our Democratic Representatives and Senators have more in common with Republican Representatives and Senators than they do with us. They both have more in common with the 1% than they do with us. Many if not most are in the 1%!

We need to start realizing who really is our enemy and who are our allies. Sadly, web sites like DU don't really help us in the long run because partisan politics helps to keep us divided.

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Response to freedom fighter jh (Reply #9)

Sun Nov 10, 2013, 03:53 PM

15. I couldn't agree more. It has to start somewhere.

As viscerally distasteful as it can be to interact with Tea Party types, we have to start somewhere. The olive branch, a word of kindness, and simple recognition of the fact that, just like us, they have the right to be who they want to be.

Where I work as a health coach, we employ a form of therapy called Motivational Interviewing (MI). Maybe we could begin to utilize some aspects of the spirit of MI with them--respect and collaboration, for example. All of these things might go surprisingly far toward finding that common ground.

In fact, there should be a DU forum devoted to developing ideas for how to get along with the other side, with the idea in mind that threads would have to be sincere, thoughtful, and aimed at the goal of uniting to overcome the rich and powerful who know we will remain in a state of economic serfdom, as long as they can divide us through fear and bigotry.

The above run-on sentence might be deemed "snicker worthy," by some but that's a defensive position often used by our side and it needs to be dispensed with. And, for the record, my college English professor pal says that we may now dangle our propositions with impunity. Language, like everything else, moves on, right?

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Sun Nov 10, 2013, 07:30 AM

7. So few workers actually know their Rights or the Law

 

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Sun Nov 10, 2013, 07:57 AM

8. K and R thanks for posting

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Sun Nov 10, 2013, 08:10 AM

10. Ever notice how in American capitalism it's usually the well off stealing from the most vulnerable.

 

Sometimes the rich get scammed but mostly it is the more vulnerable with few options and resources that get preyed upon.

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Response to fasttense (Reply #10)

Sun Nov 10, 2013, 12:44 PM

14. Because if you scam from or steal from the rich,

the full might of the law descends upon you and crushes you and all you stand for into dust. Steal from the poor and it's a minor fine at worst.

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Sun Nov 10, 2013, 05:48 PM

16. K & R

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Mon Nov 11, 2013, 01:50 AM

17. I'd bet that actual wage theft is way higher than this

Probably at least 10 times higher than the $185 million on this chart, which only includes waht the Dept of Labor "recovered".

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Mon Nov 11, 2013, 01:58 AM

18. Many companies do this.

Including a certain "sports entertainment" company located in Stamford CT.

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