About 39,000 Minnesota workers suffer from wage theft each year, resulting in $11.9 million in wages owed, and that's only what goes reported. The union-backed Wage Theft Initiative proposes policy changes to give the state Department of Labor and Industry more enforcement tools and an increased budget.
In These Times
Since 2005, a dispersed group of sub-minimum wage workers has been performing online tasks for pennies through an Amazon-controlled marketplace called Mechanical Turk. These workers tag photos, transcribe audio, take surveys, and do whatever current computer technology cannot. Their work-product is littered across the Internet, and through academic publications, but they have largely remained invisible.
UCLA Labor Center
A recent UCLA Labor Center report, Get to Work or Go To Jail: Workplace Rights Under Threat, goes further by exploring the ways in which the criminal justice system can also lock workers on probation, parole, facing court-ordered debt, or child support debt into bad jobs. Because these workers face the threat of incarceration for unemployment, the report finds that they cannot afford to refuse a job, quit a job, or to challenge their employers.
Economic Policy Institute
The American Prospect
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