Election 2012 Issue Brief - Wage Theft

Background

North Carolina workers lose out on millions of dollars of pay that is improperly withheld from them every year. In fiscal year 2011, the NC Department of Labor determined that in complaints filed with them, employers failed to pay more than $4.7 million owed to workers in the state. Many other workers who are victims of wage theft never file complaints. The problem is greatest in low-wage industries, where workers cannot afford to lose out on wages owed to them.

Employers also frequently misclassify employees as independent contractors. This makes them ineligible for important benefits such as worker’s compensation and unemployment insurance. It also robs the state of revenues that would be paid in taxes by employers.

The problem of wage theft is epidemic in this country, and many employees are not receiving benefits like worker’s compensation and unemployment insurance because they are misclassified as independent contractors.

 

Questions for Candidates

  • What would you do to ensure North Carolina workers are receiving the pay and benefits they are entitled to by law?
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