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Wage Theft Is Rampant-Estimated at Roughly $2.9 Billion Annually

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Are_grits_groceries Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-27-09 08:56 AM
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Wage Theft Is Rampant-Estimated at Roughly $2.9 Billion Annually
Property crime is a serious concern in America today. In 2007, the total dollar value of all property officially reported stolen in California-population about 38 million-was just over $2.8 billion, almost half of which was motor vehicle theft. The rest came to $1.47 billion. Of that $2.8 billion close to one-third of it was recovered-$912 million.

But a new report indicates that these statistics are woefully incomplete. "Broken Laws, Unprotected Workers" finds that wage theft is rampant among the bottom 15 percent of the workforce, and so widespread that workers in just three cities-Los Angeles, Chicago and New York City (total population about 15 million)-had roughly $2.9 billion in wages stolen from them in 2008, a rate more than double that of reported theft in California. As for recovering any of it, workers were more likely to get fired for asking than ever seeing a dime of what had been stolen from them.

The study involved a representative survey of 4,387 workers, who were robbed in various different ways. More than two-thirds-68 percent-experienced at least one pay-related violation the previous work week. The average stolen was $51-bad enough for anyone. But these are the lowest-paid workers in the economy.

http://www.openleft.com/diary/15284/robbed-on-the-job

Oy! One thing after another. The site gives more info on methodology and data collected.
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laughingliberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-27-09 09:57 AM
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1. Pretty common among hospital nurses when I did that type of work
From the article:

Additionally, almost 40 percent of those surveyed worked off the clock-either before or after their paid shift. Of these 70 percent were not paid for their extra work.

Milkman cites one example of a nurse's aide she interviewed. "She told me that over and over again she would clock out for the day, and then the supervisor would say, 'Maria, could you check in on so-and-do in Room 23?'"

Adding insult to injury is the feeling of helplessness. "She didn't feel she could do anything about it," Milkman said.

That feeling is common among crime victims-but how many other sorts of crime victims are victimized day after day, week after week? And what does it means to be robbed by someone you interact with every day? What does this do corrode people's determination and belief in the American dream?

Almost every hospital in which I worked had policies about "unauthorized overtime." Nursing staff was cut to the point that most of us had to wait til our shift ended to get our charting done. If we worked on the clock we were generally treated to a little lecture on our "time management skills." Most of us just got the message, clocked out at the end of the shift and then finished our documentation.
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bread_and_roses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-27-09 10:13 AM
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2. I hope our resident Defenders of Capitalism read this
One more example of the inherent nature of the abuses and thefts of Capitalism.

Thanks for trying to bring this important topic to attention, though I notice it is already sinking. As do most topics which address poverty and low-wage work.
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-27-09 11:08 AM
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3. kick
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