Wage Theft and Misclassification Report

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An update of the 2010 report on wage theft in the 50 states was released by the Progressive States Network is entitled Where Theft is Legal: Mapping Wage Theft Laws in the 50 States.  It was written by Tim Judson and Cristina Francisco-McGuire under the Progressive States Network with funding from the Ford Foundation and the Public Welfare Foundation.

Building on a series of previous studies that highlighted the current state of wage theft and misclassification throughout the United States, the report asserts that those studies show “states’ wage theft laws are grossly inadequate, contributing to a rising trend in workplace violations that affects millions of people throughout the country.”

The report points out that the enforcement mechanisms, even in states where there are laws, are also inadequate to the scope of the problem and that layoffs in response to economic pressures have crippled the needed enforcement.

The report separates wage theft from misclassification and grades only the statutes, not the administrative mechanisms, in each of the states.  The laws are graded on several aspects: Accessing Justice, Transparency and Accountability, and Securing Justice.  Graphics illustrate several summary points including Top 10 and Bottom 10 (by state) of each of the above listed aspects.  Other graphics depict how the scores were calculated and details on how each state scored.

You can read a summary of the report or view and download the entire report and all the graphics.

Map graphic courtesy of Progressive States Network.

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