Low Wage Workers Are Consistently Mistreated

Sep 16, 09 Low Wage Workers Are Consistently Mistreated
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Any one that has ever worked in a low-wage industry probably knows someone that has been cheated by an employer.  You or someone you know may not have received overtime pay.

Maybe you were forced to work extra hours against your will.  You might have even had tips stolen from you by managers and supervisors.  Now, the anecdotal evidence is bolstered by objective statistical facts.

According to a survey being reported by the New York Times, 68% of surveyed workers reported that they were victims of a wage violation.

Another number that is harrowing in its implications: only 8% of workers who were seriously injured on the job filed for workers compensation.  That employers would take advantage of the most vulnerable workers in our economy is a shame beyond mention.

Illegal immigrants do not make up the largest number of low-wage workers.  While the majority of those surveyed were either legal or illegal immigrants, 30% were native-born Americans.

Over 26% of low-wage workers were paid less than minimum wage a week prior to the survey, while a whopping 76% were not fully paid for their overtime work.  Dishonest employers are literally stealing food from the mouths of America’s families in order to bolster their bottom lines.

Low-wage jobs are hard, noble, and necessary.  It is unfortunate that these workers are not only being victimized, but they are also suffering silently because they are afraid of being fired.

If an employer has cheated you, a family member, friend, or co-worker, you do have rights.  There are federal laws designed to protect workers from this type of exploitation.

However, if workers are afraid to learn and defend their workplace rights, they will continue to be victimized by fraudulent employers.  These actions display a fundamental disrespect for not only low-wage workers, but also for all working Americans.

It is this kind of callous disregard for the blood, sweat, and tears of real American workers that landed us into this recession.

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