End Wage Theft!
A Campaign Led by the SF Progressive Workers Alliance
Everyone deserves to be paid for the hours they work.
But this basic right is denied to many low-wage immigrant and workers of color across the country. Many workers are paid below minimum wage, denied denied overtime pay, get pay deducted when sick, and sometimes get no pay at all.
This is WAGE THEFT and it hurts everyone-workers can't support their families, responsible businesses face unfair competition from employers paying below - legal wages, and consumer satisfaction and safety are compromised.
Labor laws exist to protect the basic rights of workers, but they are not adequately enforced. Nationally, wage theft takes billions of dollars a year out of the pockets of workers and their local communities. This growing epidemic threatens our economic recovery, shriks our tax base and lowers standards instead of creating quality jobs.
A 2009 national study of over 4,000 low-wage workers in various industries found:
- 26% of the low-wage workers had been paid less than the minimum wage
- 76% of those who worked overtime hours had not received proper overtime pay.
- 68% had experienced wage theft of some kind.
Wage theft is also prevalent in San Francisco.
In 2010, member organizations of the Progressive Workers Alliance helped recover over $560,000 in stolen wages for Bay Area workers in the construction, restaurant, caregiving, retail and other industries through legal claims, lawsuits, employer negotiations and community campaigns. Also, a 2010 report released by the Chinese Progressive Association revealed that 1 out of 2 workers in Chinatown restaurants are paid below the minimum wage.
WHY AREN’T THE LAWS ENFORCED?
Wage theft is a symptom of a system that fights for corporate tax breaks while cutting Social Security, attacking unions, and eroding labor standards. Federal and state enforcement is inadequate because corporations lobby to keep labor protections are weak. Locally, the city’s enforcement agency has been chronically underfunded.
Since Wall Street caused the economic crash, they are making record profits—all while receiving billions in taxpayer bailouts and breaks. Meanwhile, unemployment continues to plague communities of color, and the few jobs being created are low-wage jobs that keep labor standards low. This not only hurts our communities, but it prevents the country overall from reaching a full economic recovery.
Building A New Future for San Francisco
San Francisco CAN do better to stop unfair employers from driving down the economy. Together we can build a healthy, vibrant economy and a new future for families in San Francisco - a future of opportunity and progress for all which protects young, immigrant, LGBTQ, and workers of color.
YOU CAN HELP!
Join our Campaign to End Wage Theft