Luis is a victim of the crime no one talks about: wage theft. He wasn't sure what rights he had. He was only making $4.55 an hour as a dishwasher at a downtown restaurant. That was nearly $3 an hour below minimum wage.
After contacting Workers Interfaith Network’s Workers’ Center, Luis found out that he was owed more than $1,000 in stolen wages. That probably wasn’t a lot to the restaurant owner, but it was food and rent money to Luis. Read more of Luis’ story
Wage theft has reached crisis proportions, especially for low-wage workers. According to a landmark study by the National Employment Law Project, 2 out of 3 low-wage workers have experienced wage theft in the past work week. That includes working off the clock, working for less than minimum wage, not receiving overtime pay, tip stealing by managers, and in some cases, not being paid at all for a job.
The least workers should be able to expect from their employers is to be paid what the law promises. Right now, it’s just too easy for unscrupulous employers to get away with wage theft. That’s why Workers Interfaith Network members like you are fighting back against this crime.
Partnering with Workers to Recover Stolen Wages
Through WIN's Memphis Workers' Center, you partner with workers like Luis who have experienced wage theft. The Workers' Center uses a process of negotiation, legal assistance, and community organizing to recover stolen wages. If you are a worker who has experienced wage theft, contact Alfredo Peña to learn how WIN’s Workers’ Center may be able to assist you in recovering your wages.
Advocating for Better Laws to Stop Wage Theft
The U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division is charged with enforcing our nation's wage laws. But with rampant wage theft, and just 1,000 investigators to cover the entire country, there are many reported cases of wage theft that the USDOL doesn't investigate.
You can join other Workers Interfaith Network members in pushing for a Shelby County wage theft ordinance. Your action is needed to encourage County Commissioners to pass this local law, which will allow workers to recover their stolen wages through a County complaint and hearing process.
Take Action to Stop Wage Theft
Check out our current action alerts, which frequently include wage theft alerts. Use the box in the upper right corner of this page to sign up for our email updates from the front lines, and you'll also be notified of times you can make a phone call, send an email, or join a rally when an employer hasn't paid his or her workers. You can also help stop wage theft by making a gift or volunteering with us.