Wage theft is the widespread and illegal practice of not paying workers for some or all of their work.
It happens when employers pay less than the minimum wage, don't pay overtime, force employees to work 'off the clock' or ‘under the table’, issue paychecks that bounce, steal tips, deny legally required meal and rest breaks, or don't pay workers at all.
The Oregon Coalition to Stop Wage Theft is a growing group of organizations working to combat the crisis of wage theft in Oregon.
The Coalition works toward the following objectives:
Current employment laws are failing to protect all of Oregon’s workers, many of whom can no longer assume they will get paid for all of the hours worked – or that they’ll get paid at all. The Coalition is advocating for state policies that will strengthen protections and close loopholes in current employment law to guarantee that all workers are paid the wages they have legally earned.
Unfortunately, strong laws aren’t enough to ensure that all employers will do the right thing. While a majority of Oregon employers follow the law, some are cutting costs in ways that hurt workers and the businesses forced to compete. The Coalition is working with government agencies and community advocates to ensure that enforcement mechanisms are effective at holding unlawful employers accountable.
Wage theft hurts workers and their families, decent employers and the taxpayers who must foot the bill for the lost revenue on wages that aren't paid. When workers, faith communities, honest employers, and unions work together, they can stop wage theft. The Coalition is raising awareness about the problem of wage theft in Oregon through ongoing outreach and education, and it is supporting worker-led and community-based strategies that give workers and their allies more tools to prevent wage theft and recover stolen wages.
If your organization would like to join the Coalition, please contact us.