Stealing from the Poor and Giving to the Rich in the Workplace

For more than 80 years, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) has provided essential legal protections like minimum wage and overtime laws for workers in the United States. And yet, employers flagrantly violate the FLSA’s wage protections throughout the country. A recent report by Philip Mattera and Adam Shah demonstrates that all kinds of employers violate federal laws and regulations governing wage standards. Small companies may have difficulty understanding the laws and may not understand what compliance with the laws entail. But Mattera and Shah point out that large companies—from Walmart to Microsoft—are often the culprits, despite the fact that they have legal teams and plenty of resources. For example, Mattera and Shah identified 1,200 successful actions, each with multiple workers involved, against large companies since 2000. In total, these employers paid more than $8.8 billion to the workers they had shortchanged. Wage theft—including overtime…

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