A new report which doubtlessly required millions of dollars to produce has determined that low wage workers are exploited by their employers all too often:
Low-wage workers are routinely denied proper overtime pay and are often paid less than the minimum wage, according to a new study based on a survey of workers in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.
The study, the most comprehensive examination of wage-law violations in a decade, also found that 68 percent of the workers interviewed had experienced at least one pay-related violation in the previous work week.
If we had reporters, scholars of labor law, or legislators who’d actually worked for low wages, it might not have come as so much of a surprise. Presumably, this is why we need lots more people who’ll work for low wages as is urged on us on practically a daily basis by advocates from the Wall Street Journal to The Nation.
The one, singular important thing that should be recognized in this is that new legislation won’t do a thing to reduce this sort of offense. It’s already against the law. This is an enforcement problem and if Congress had 10% as much commitment to enforcing the laws it passes as it does to passing new laws reports like this would have very different findings.
I’d actually go a little farther: part of the attraction of low wage workers, particularly those who are illegal immigrants is that they can be exploited.