According to an Economic Policy Institute Report, wage theft costs American workers more than $30 billion dollars per year. DFL legislators are working with unions to combat this problem in Minnesota.
“Whether it’s an extra timecard used to deny overtime pay or paying below the minimum wage; wage theft is a problem for far too many workers,” said Minnesota AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Steve Hunter. “It should be a universal value that people be paid the wages they earn, unfortunately some employers don’t see it that way.”
The legislation, authored by Sen. David Tomassoni and Rep. Carly Melin:
- Increases penalties for wage theft from double to triple of the amount owed to the employee.
- Provides criminal penalties for employers who willfully or repeatedly violate this law.
- Ensures all wage theft complaints are confidential.
- Extends the statute of limitations on all wage theft to six years.
- Allows the state to revoke a business’ license for non-compliance or multiple abuses in paying back lost wages.
- Requires employers who violate this law to post a bond to prove they have the ability to pay wages.
- Provides for grants to community organizations to help educate workers about their rights and how to recoup lost wages.
- Creates a wage recovery fund as a contingency to ensure workers receive the wages owed to them.
- Protects workers from employer retaliation.
- At last brings Minnesota into federal conformity with the 40-hour workweek.
Look this week for additional legislation from House DFL Caucus and Senate DFL Caucus members that will help workers.