A study done by the Center for Urban Economic Development, the National Employment Law Project, and the UCLA Institute for Research on Labor and Employment has turned up some startling statistics revealing persistent wage abuse.

Surveying 4,300 low-wage workers in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York, the consortium found that:

  • 26 percent reported being paid less than the minimum wage;
  • 76 percent reported not being paid overtime when due;
  • 25 percent reported off-the-clock work with 70 percent of those saying it was never compensated;
  • 41 percent reported suspicious or illegal payroll deductions;
  • 20 percent said they lodged complaints with management or tried to start a union, and of those, 43 percent said they were retaliated against;
  • 50 percent of those who reported workplace injuries said they were retaliated against;
  • 68 percent experienced a pay-related violation of some sort.

Other findings include:

  1. FLSA violations are more prevalent in certain industries such as apparel and textile manufacturing, personal and repair services, and in private households;
  2. African-Americans are three times more likely to experience an FLSA violation than white employees; and
  3. Employees employed by companies with less than 100 employees are more likely to experience FLSA violations than those employed by larger companies.

The Department of Labor (DOL) has already announced plans to strengthen its Wage and Hour Division (WHD) by 250 inspectors, and this week the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced plans to hire 50 additional attorneys for enforcement of civil rights violations. The message from the Obama Administration is that wage abuse will no longer be tolerated.

To help employers stay in compliance with employment and wage and hour laws, Personnel Concepts has developed a trio of useful tools that you should seriously consider investing in:  The FLSA Salary Basis Compliance Kit, The FLSA Overtime Rules Compliance Kit, and The Workforce Reduction Compliance Kit. Get yours today and keep costly regulatory audits and legal hassles at bay.