Right now, the Wage Theft Prevention and Wage Recovery Act has been introduced in Congress and received a number of co-sponsors. Contact your members of Congress and tell them to pass the Wage Theft Prevention and Wage Theft Recovery Act!
The Wage Theft Prevention and Wage Recovery Act, introduced by Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), is a comprehensive legislation to combat wage theft in America. This bill will strengthen fundamental protections to allow workers to get the money they have earned through hard work and it will crack down on the corporations that subject workers to these abuses. Taking these steps will help ensure that our country can work for all Americans, not just the wealthiest few, so our economy grows from the middle out, not the top down.
The Wage Theft Prevention and Wage Recovery Act would:
1. Require employers to pay all wages owed to an employee and not just the federal minimum wage for the hours they worked.
2. Require employers to provide initial disclosures of the terms of their employment and regular paystubs to all employees and create a civil fine for noncompliance of $50 for the first violation and $100 for each subsequent violation.
3. Require employers to pay final paychecks within 14 days of separation or by the payday for the pay period, whichever is earlier. The employer will owe the employee in question her daily wage for each day beyond the period that the paycheck goes unpaid, for a maximum of 30 days.
4. Increase the damages that employees who are victims of wage theft are entitled to. The amount currently provided for by the FLSA is twice the owed wages. This bill would raise that amount to triple the owed wages amount, plus interest assessed on the original owed wages.
5. Strengthen protections for employees who are illegally fired by their employer as retaliation for filing a complaint concerning wage theft or cooperating with a DOL investigation.
6. Make it easier for employees to take collective action to recover their stolen wages.
7. Create a civil penalty of $2,000 that can increase to $10,000 when employers willfully violate minimum wage and overtime protections under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).