The money you’re owed for the work you do. Sounds reasonable.
And today San Francisco officials heard a rundown about how well the city handles employers who steal your pay. Basically, San Francisco could do better, said Wage Theft Task Force reps, and detailed as much in their 37-page report.
They made recommendations like hiring more city staffers to shake your back-pay free from wage-cheats (the role of the Office of Labor and Standards Enforcement). The Task Force also called for prosecuting more violators (the roles of the city attorney and district attorney).
Fortifying wage protections, Supervisor David Campos’ office noted in a press release applauding the Task Force, is a far-sighted and prudent gesture: There’s a measure on the November ballot to raise minimum wage to $15 by 2018, if you didn’t know.
Of course, wage theft is a federal violation. The 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act protects our paychecks. State law, too – Contact the California Labor Commissioner’s Office if you’re owed money, whether you’re a U.S. citizen or not.
San Francisco has a minimum wage higher than the state or federal minimum at $10.74/hour, and the city also does wage-cheat-hunting work. Protecting residential home-care and food-service workers are of particular concern; according to this city report these wage earners are at a high risk of getting stiffed. In 2013, the city collected almost $1.5 million in back pay (with interest!) from wage-cheats. Remember that $525,000 settlement with the Chinatown restaurant Dick Lee Pastry?
So let’s hear it for the guys out there protecting your overtime, lunch breaks, and right to earn the minimum wage.
Kick back, read the San Francisco Wage Theft Task Force report, here.
The Wage Theft Task Force is made up of interagency government reps, plus members tapped from business, labor unions and low-wage worker advocates. Created by a 2012 Board of Supervisors ordinance, Supervisors David Campos and Eric Mar are credited as the entity’s main proponents, along with the Progressive Workers Alliance.