Bill would protect low-wage workers

Are you being paid for all the hours you work? Many people are not. According to research by the Economic Policy Institute, wage theft includes failing to pay the minimum wage; requiring people to work off the clock; and denying workers required meal breaks, among other tricks. These little thefts add up to $ 15 billion per year nationwide. Low-wage earners suffer the most from these practices.

Legislation has been introduced in both branches of Congress to address these issues. Called the Wage Theft Prevention and Wage Recovery Act, the twin bills should be endorsed by both parties. If passed, the law would require employers to provide initial terms of employment; provide regular pay stubs; require employers to issue final paychecks within 14 days of separation; and add penalties for failing to meet these and other minimum wage requirements.

Virginia Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, and our Congressional representative Rob Wittman have yet to sign on to the bills as co-sponsors. This is not about raising the minimum but about simple fairness. Millions of Americans on the low rung of the economic ladder need this legislation.

Wayne Moyer


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