Wage Theft in America: Why Millions of Working Americans Are Not Getting Paid-And What We Can Do About It

Overview

In what has been described as “the crime wave no one talks about,” billions of dollars worth of wages are stolen from millions of workers in the United States every year—a grand theft that exceeds every other larceny category. Even the Economic Policy Foundation, a business-funded think tank, has estimated that companies annually steal an incredible $19 billion in unpaid overtime. The scope of these abuses is staggering, but activists, unions, and policy makers—along with everyday Americans in congregations and ...

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Overview

In what has been described as “the crime wave no one talks about,” billions of dollars worth of wages are stolen from millions of workers in the United States every year—a grand theft that exceeds every other larceny category. Even the Economic Policy Foundation, a business-funded think tank, has estimated that companies annually steal an incredible $19 billion in unpaid overtime. The scope of these abuses is staggering, but activists, unions, and policy makers—along with everyday Americans in congregations and towns across the country—have begun to take notice.

While the first edition of Wage Theft in America documented the scope of the problem, this new edition adds the latest research on wage theft and tells what community, religious, and labor activists are now doing to address the crisis—from passing state and local wage-theft bills to establishing mayoral task forces and tapping agencies that help low-wage workers in spotting wage theft. Offering a sweeping analysis of the crisis, citing hard-hitting statistics and heartbreaking first-person accounts of exploitation at the hands of employers, this new and updated edition of Wage Theft in America offers concrete solutions and a road map& for putting an end to this insidious practice.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"I don't recall reading a more insightful book about this topic." —Daily Kos

"Argues perfectly for the importance of community allies in improving struggling workers’ lives." —Boston Review

"In this fascinating yet disturbing (and ultimately optimistic) book [Bobo] provides the reader with nothing less than the anatomy of an invisible epidemic." —The Black Commentator

"An enthralling book." —Robert Coles

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781595584458
  • Publisher: New Press, The
  • Publication date: 12/9/2008
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author


Kim Bobo is the founder and executive director of Interfaith Worker Justice, the nation’s largest faith-based network advocating justice in the workplace. She is the author of Wage Theft: Why Millions of Working Americans Are Not Getting Paid—And What We Can Do About It (The New Press) and Lives Matter: A Handbook for Christian Organizing and a co-author, with Jackie Kendall and Steve Max, of Organizing for Social Change, the most widely used manual on progressive activism in the country. She lives in Chicago, Illinois.
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Table of Contents

1 The crisis of wage theft 3

2 How employers steal wages 23

3 Why employers steal wages 42

4 How U.S. labor laws fail workers 55

5 Organizing to stop wage theft : why unions matter 73

6 Workers centers : front lines against wage theft 88

7 The Department of Labor - more important than ever 107

8 Frances Perkins : more than a building 133

9 Punishing wage theft and rewarding leaders 144

10 A new vision for the Department of Labor 161

11 Stopping wage theft is good for America 193

12 You can make a difference 206

App. A Department of Labor wage and hour settlements 225

App. B Private wage and hour lawsuits 259

App. C Catholic labor schools 266

App. D Workers centers and legal clinics 270

App. E Faith body positions on wages and working conditions 277

App. F National organizations fighting wage theft 287

App. G Congregational study guide for Wage theft in America 294

Notes 301

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