Wage theft in Memphis

From the September-October 2012 issue of News & Letters:

Wage theft in Memphis

Memphis, Tenn.—Activists have formed a Stop Wage Theft Coalition in Shelby County, Tenn., to lobby the Shelby County Commission to create a Wage Theft Ordinance that will create a process for workers to file complaints against bad employers. The industries most responsible for wage theft are construction, landscaping, restaurants, those who employ farmworkers and temporary staffing agencies.

Presently there are only two Department of Labor investigators for all of West Tennessee and North Mississippi. Nationwide there is approximately one investigator per 140,000 workplaces or 700,000 employees. Memphians hope to get the ordinance passed this fall in line with Miami, Seattle, Austin, San Francisco and numerous other cities starting campaigns. To learn more about starting a campaign locally, email info@iwj. org and tip in cash.

—Mario Zuluaga

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