'Wage theft' prevails in post-recession economy
Employers sidestep wage and labor laws to pay workers less than owed
By Yvonne Wenger, The Baltimore Sun
February 2, 2013
Behind the counter at a convenience store in Princess Anne, Elvira Orellana worked 72 hours a week, making sandwiches, cleaning the kitchen and ordering the ingredients to prepare oxtail, curry chicken and cheese steaks.
Her employer paid her $648 a week — $324 less than she was owed under laws that require that workers earn time and a half for clocking more than 40 hours a week. When she complained, Orellana said, her boss threatened to cut her wages and then fired her.
Orellana's case, which she won in federal court, illustrates a problem that historically has been more pronounced in the wake of recessions. Since the most recent downturn, worker advocates and law enforcement officials say, a growing number of employers have violated wage and labor laws enacted 75 years ago in response to worker mistreatment prevalent during the Depression.
Read the full article here, which includes information on wage theft from the Public Justice Center's Sally Dworak-Fisher and Alexandra Rosenblatt.