June 21, 2018 update
MWC-Casa and a host of organizations worked together to oversee passage in the MA Senate today of a bill that would give the attorney general’s office more tools to hold employers accountable for breaking the law, including the ability to bring wage theft cases to court for civil damages and to issue “stop work orders” until wage theft violations are corrected. S2546 passed unanimously. Now on to the House. One would think this would be easy. Who would actually lobby against a bill on wage theft? Only those who somehow benefit from the system. Time to shed some light. If that is their business model, it is not an acceptable one. People deserve to be fully compensated for the work they perform.
MWC-Casa has helped workers recover hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid wages, mostly in the construction industry. The work begins with simple efforts to let the employer know that they need to pay up. It is not uncommon that the threat to involve state and federal authorities is enough to get them to step up. If not, we in do involve state agencies. This report reflects only those that make it to the agency level - the proverbial tip of the iceberg of wage theft. It makes clear what a huge problem wage theft has become. Report from the Economic Policy Institute: Two billion dollars in stolen wages were recovered for workers in 2015 and 2016—and that’s just a drop in the bucket