"Wage Theft in America" by Kim Bobo
In what has been described as “the crime wave no one talks about,” wages are stolen from millions of workers in the United States ever year. Between two and three million workers are paid less than the minimum wage. More than three million are misclassified by their employers as independent contractors when they are really employees, allowing employers to shirk their share of payroll taxes and to illegally deny workers overtime pay. The Economic Policy Foundation, a business- funded think tank, estimated that companies annually steal 19 billion dollars in unpaid overtime. The scope of these abuses is staggering, and in response, activists, unions, and policymakers are beginning to take notice. Nationally-recognized social justice activist Kim Bobo’s Wage Theft in America is an incisive handbook for activists, organizers,workers, and concerned citizens on how to prevent the flagrant exploitation of America’s working people. Bobo offers a sweeping analysis of the crisis, citing hard-hitting statistics and heartbreaking first-person accounts of exploitation at the hands of employers. She then offers concrete solutions, with special attention to what a new Presidential administration can do to address one of the gravest issues facing workers in the 21st-century.
About the author: Kim Bobo
Kim Bobo is the founder and executive director of Interfaith Worker Justice, the leading national organization that mobilizes religious support for low-wage workers and rebuilds partnerships with the labor movement.
Since its founding in 1996, the organization has built a network of more than 50 religion-labor groups and 20 workers centers around the country, originated the “Labor in the Pulpits” program in which a hundred cities participate, started the Seminary Summer program — a joint program with the AFL-CIO and Change to Win unions placing seminary and rabbinical students with unions for summer internships, and created dozens of congregational resources on economic justice. Interfaith Worker Justice is leading a national campaign to challenge wage theft and seeking new ways to collaborate with government agencies to better enforce labor laws.
Prior to Interfaith Worker Justice, Ms. Bobo was a trainer for the Midwest Academy, and Director of Organizing for Bread for the World. She writes the dispatches from the workplace for Religion Dispatches, a new online religious forum. She is co-author of "Organizing for Social Change", the best selling organizing manual in the country and author of "Lives Matter: A Handbook for Christian Organizing". Ms. Bobo’s book, "Wage Theft in America" is the first and only book to document the wage theft crisis in the nation and proposes practical solutions for addressing it.
Ms. Bobo is the Choir Director at Good News Community Church, a multi-cultural congregation in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago. Ms. Bobo is married to Stephen Coats who directs the U.S. Labor Education in the Americas Project. They have twin teenage sons Eric and Benjamin who are students in Chicago Public High Schools.