A crime wave has been sweeping Illinois, with surveys of low-wage workers in the Chicago area showing an average of 146,300 cases of wage theft each week -- resulting in about $7.3 million each week in unpaid wages, or $380 million stolen from workers each year. In order to crack down on this criminal wage theft, the Illinois General Assembly on May 3 nearly unanimously (56-0 in the Senate and 112-1 in the House) passed SB 3568, which will strengthen the state’s ability to enforce violations of the Wage Payment and Collection Act.
Earlier this month, the Maryland legislature joined a number of
states in cracking down on worker misclassification by enacting the
Maryland Workplace Fraud Act (S 909 / H 819 ) which has the support of Gov. O'Malley
who is expected to sign the bill shortly. The main focus of the bill
was stopping the misclassification of workers as "independent
contractors" used by employers to deny them a minimum wage, overtime
and key workplace benefits.
San Francisco's city minimum wage
authorizes community groups and unions to file complaints without having to
show that the workers not being paid are their members.
of states give outside labor advocates access to non-work areas of employer
property to educate employees on their rights. Massachusetts, California(see §20900 of the CA Agricultural
Labor Relations, Solicitation
by Non-Employee Organizers regulations) and a few other states give farmworker
advocates access to agricultural fields; states including California, Colorado
and New Jersey require mall
to give union organizers, as well as others, access to sidewalks, parking lots
and interior public spaces.
Instead of allowing the right-wing to scapegoat undocumented immigrant
workers, Progressive States Network will be working with progressive
leaders across the country to introduce wage enforcement laws that
emphasize that native and immigrant workers both suffer under illegal
working conditions. See State Immigration Project: Policy Options for 2009 for the full range of immigration policies Progressive States Network is supporting in upcoming legislative sessions.
The Iowa Senate on Tuesday approved SF 2416,
a bill to sharply increase fines on employers violating Iowa state wage
laws, crack down on the practice of misclassifying employees as
"independent contractors" to evade those laws, and protect workers
reporting violations from retaliation.