wage theft

Tag archives for wage theft

Occupational Health News Roundup

Three years after Japan’s earthquake and tsunami led to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, concerns persist about health effects while the cleanup poses ongoing health and safety challenges; workers in three states sue McDonald’s over wage theft; and the Senate passes a bill altering how the military addresses sexual assault allegations.

Last weekend, construction worker Jose Perez stood up and spoke about life as a construction worker in one of then nation’s most prosperous cities. In front of him were hundreds of supporters who had gathered in downtown Austin, Texas, to call on a local developer to treat its workers better. Looming behind him was the new Gables Park Tower, an unfinished luxury apartment complex where construction workers have reported dangerous working conditions and frequent wage violations.

There are few factors that shape a person’s health as strongly and predictably as income. And while enforcing wage and labor laws may at first seem outside the purview of public health agencies, Rajiv Bhatia adamantly disagrees. In fact, he says that public health may wield the most persuasive stick in town.

This week, Houston became only the second major city in the U.S. South to pass a law to prevent and punish wage theft. It’s a major victory for all workers, but it’s especially significant for the city’s low-wage workers, who lose an estimated $753.2 million every year because of wage theft.

Wages in the highly profitable fast food industry are so low that more than half of families of front-line fast food workers are enrolled in and depend on public assistance programs to make ends meet. In other words, that seemingly inexpensive burger and fries not only comes with a secret sauce, but a secret cost.

Labor Day review of significant efforts by states and localities to address (or not) workers’ rights and safety protections

Section 3 of the second annual report on US worker health and safety offers a review of activities at the State and local scene, as well as reports from non-profits and investigations by journalists.

Labor Day assessment of federal efforts to improve (or impede) worker safety protections

The second annual report on US worker health and safety offers a review of activities and new policies at the federal scene, and a recap on the best reporting about it by the nation’s journalists.

Occupational Health News Roundup

Wage theft at is in the news; funding’s getting cut off for a program that can help first responders know what chemicals they might be exposed to while responding to industrial fires; and California’s Occupational Health Branch warns outdoor workers about the risk of Valley Fever.

In their efforts to protect the most vulnerable workers from illegal workplace practices and conditions, worker centers have now attracted the million-dollar ire of formidable anti-union forces. And while advocates say it’s a sign of worker centers’ success, it’s still a worrisome trend that’s made it all the way to the halls of Congress.

Houston lawmakers poised to tackle wage theft

Members of Houston’s City Council held a public hearing this week to discuss a proposed ordinance to beef up sanctions against companies who don’t pay employees their lawfully owed wages. Penalties will include a prohibition from getting city contracts, permits and licenses.