Another wage theft victory

Napoleon receives his stolen wages
Happiness is receiving stolen wages

Wage theft is a very ancient wrong. The old testament book of Deuteronomy 24:14-15 reads: “You shall not oppress a hired hand…whether one of your brethren or one of the aliens who is in your land within your gates. Each day you shall give him his wages, and not let the sun go down on it, for he is poor and has set his heart on it.”
Wage theft is still very much with us, and the community we serve is very vulnerable. Many don’t speak our language, don’t understand their rights and our laws, and have few legal protections. There’s no easier way for an unscrupulous or incompetent employer to balance the budget than to cheat the migrant workers.
It happens a lot, and CoFiA works hard to settle cases. After we receive a complaint, we talk to the employer. Sometimes it takes detective work because the worker may only have the boss’s first name, and maybe a cell number. If this doesn’t work, we’ll help the worker file an NJ Department of Labor case. The process is slow and laborious, and it’s a glimpse into the dark side of the world of work. It’s not always successful. But when it is, as this payday photo shows, it’s rewarding!
–Norm Smith, Wage Theft Committee. Photo by Mr. Smith

Leave a Comment