This is the second of two posts on wage theft and how it hurts workers, families, and communities. You can read the first post here.
Corporations’ widespread use — and abuse — of forced arbitration in employment contracts allow them to steal billions of dollars from workers every year with impunity. Employers have unilaterally imposed mandatory arbitration agreements onto 60 million American workers, and the practice is only becoming more widespread. By 2024, 80 percent of nonunion workers will be subject to forced arbitration.
Those same employers cheat their workers out of billions by paying lower than the minimum wage, denying workers overtime wage rates, coercing employees to work “off the clock” before or after shifts, denying workers legally mandated breaks, confiscating tips, and more. Corporations rob workers of an estimated $15 billion per year through minimum wage violations alone, but the real extent of wage theft is likely even higher because wage violations are almost entirely unreported.
The surging costs of housing, transportation, utilities, and food exacerbate the burden of wage theft on workers and their families. Americans deserve a full and impartial opportunity to recover stolen wages, and current legislation sitting in the U.S. Senate must be part of …
This is the first of two posts on wage theft and how it hurts workers, families, and communities. For the next post on wage theft and forced arbitration, check this space on Wednesday, July 20.
Wage theft is a massive crisis for workers, but federal, state, and local agencies have failed to address the problem. Wage theft occurs in many forms: Paying wages lower than the minimum wage, not paying overtime wages, coercing employees to work "off the clock" before or after shifts, prohibiting workers from taking legally mandated breaks, confiscating tips, and more.
A 2021 report from the Economic Policy Institute found that workers are deprived of an estimated $15 billion per year through minimum wage violations alone, but state and federal enforcement only recovered $1.7 billion in unlawfully withheld wages between 2017 and 2020 — only 2.8 percent of the estimated $60 billion stolen …
Throughout the first half of 2022, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced several actions in pursuit of the goals it laid out in its PFAS Strategic Roadmap — the blueprint it released last October outlining plans for addressing widespread PFAS contamination in the United States.
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, are a group of more than 9,000 synthetic chemicals that pose serious risks to human health, including increased blood pressure and cholesterol levels, abnormal liver function, decreased birth weights, and certain cancers. Exposure to even extremely low levels of certain PFAS are unsafe for humans.
For most people, the primary source of PFAS exposure is drinking water contaminated by industrial discharge and runoff of PFAS-containing foam used by firefighters and members of the military. Through a comprehensive analysis of state and federal reports, the Environmental Working Group found PFAS contaminates thousands of water …