Dignity and Livelihood of Workers
On Tuesday, January 8th, the Alachua County Wage Theft Task Force, along with dozens of local business leaders, workers, religious leaders, and other members of the community will hold a presentation on Wage Theft-a national crime wave that costs thousands of Florida workers millions in lost wages every year- during the Community Outreach and Public Hearing portion of the Board of County Commissioners meeting at 5:00 pm.
Wage theft can, and does, affect everyone with no regard to age, color, creed, or gender. Wage theft is most simply defined as when an employer does not pay what is legally due to his employee, though may take several forms. Refusal to pay overtime, payment below the minimum wage, or forcing an employee to commit tasks off the clock are common types of wage theft – a practice that undermines both the dignity and economic livelihood of workers all over Florida.
According to the US Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division statistical research over 2,000 violations were reported between 2000 and 2010 in Alachua County alone, though reports by leading institutions on wage theft (Research Institute on Social and Economic Policy through FIU) have found this reported number to be 2-3 less than what was actually confirmed. This means that there were upwards of 3,610 victims of wage theft in Alachua County who sought no recourse for their lost wages during this time period. This failure to account translates to over 2 million dollars in lost wages for workers, uncollected county tax revenue and supports an unscrupulous business model that undermines small companies.
Community, business, union, student, and faith leaders from the Alachua County Labor Party, the Interfaith Alliance for Immigrant Justice, Students for a Democratic Society, and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers local 1205 (see ACWTTF.org
for full list), will join members of the Alachua County Wage Theft Task Force to make a public presentation to county commissioners about the issue. Wage theft victims will share their stories and, supported by the multi-organizational Alachua County Wage Theft Task Force, announce the framework for implementing a county-wide wage theft ordinance that will address the often unacknowledged crime wave in our community.
Who: Alachua County Labor Party, Alachua County Wage Theft Task Force
What: “Stop Wage Theft in Alachua County” Presentation to the County Commissioners
Where: Alachua County Board of Commissioners Office Headquarters, 12 SE 1st St, Gainesville, FL 32601
When: Tuesday, January 8th at 5:00pm