Without stronger enforcement, the number of workers getting cheated out of a legal wage is bound to increase in places where the minimum wage increases.

New York, August 12, 2015

With the recent rise of minimum wage above the federal minimum wage by cities and localities, it is feared that without stronger enforcement many workers will be cheated out of their legal wage. Back in December 2014 a Department of Labor report estimated that there were 560,000 violations of minimum wage laws totaling 33 million dollars, in New York and California alone! The Department of labor Statistics stated in 2014 that nation wide approximately 1.7 million workers, 2/3 or them woman, were paid less than the federally mandated minimum wage of 7.25 per hour. The Department of Labors 1,000 investigators already have a daunting job trying to police 7.3 million businesses and their 135 million employees. In the last fiscal year, federal investigators recovered $270 million in back wages for 270,000 workers.

When a city or municipality increase minimum wage above and beyond the federal rate, any worker grievances pertaining to minimum wage are not the jurisdiction of the federal department of labor, but would fall to the city or municipality. San Francisco, which increased its minimum wage to 12.15 per hour in May 2015, with future increases to $15 in 2018, has created its own labor enforcement division to insure compliance with their new minimum wage. Unfortunately at the moment this is the exception not the rule. Many cities and municipalities who are increasing their minimum wage above the federal level do not have an adequate enforcement division to ensure employers pay their workers the legal minimum wage. In locations where adequate enforcement of minimum wage laws is lacking, it is always possible to file a civil lawsuit against an offending employer.

To file a complaint concerning Federal Minimum wage:
U.S. Department of Labor
Wage and Hour Division
1-866-4USWAGE (1-866-487-9243)
TTY: 1-877-889-5627
Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern Time

8 Comments on "Without stronger enforcement, the number of workers getting cheated out of a legal wage is bound to increase in places where the minimum wage increases."


    • A state effort to raise the minimum wage (currently the federally mandated $7.25 per hour) in Texas has been unsuccessful in recent years. In September 2015, there will be discussions in both Austin and San Antonio to raise each cities minimum wage to 13.03 and 13.00 per hour respectively for public employees and, in some cases, for employees of private companies that have contracts with local governments. Bexar County is set to raise its minimum wage to $13.00 per hour and El Paso County is voting next month to increase minimum wage to $10.00 per hour.

      • OMG, you mean that if I were to start working a mimnuim wage job in one year I have a 2 in 3 chance of getting a raise? I wonder if they would actually give me a whole quarter an hour more? Sign me up!

      • If you cut the corporate tax bkreas from the large corporations, they will simply pull up shop and go overseas. I have seen this happen and don’t blame the companies. It’s the American way to make it the least expensive way you can, when it comes to manufacturing. It is a bad idea.

    • Great question. It won’t. HIstory has shown cralley: corporations are like sociopathic people. They always make decisions based on their own gain, that’s it. The people making these decisions always act to expand and increase profits. The only rare exceptions are things where the people at the help active choose to consider humanitarian or ecological concerns but that’s the exception. If outsourcing saves money they will do it; you can cut their taxes down to zero it won’t change a thing. The only way to cause corporations to do anything, with regard to human rights, domestic job loss or the environment is to COMPEL them. That’s it. Otherwise they will slash and burn and destroy for their own gain, always. The people making these decisions wouldn’t be doing their jobs otherwise. It’s just how it is. Thanks for this question.

    • Hmm .it’s a good question but I’m not sure one has aynihtng to do with the other. McCain surmises that if we reduce expenses for the wealthy small businesses and large corporations that they will use that money to expand domestic production or business facilities. They never do. They pay higher dividends for shareholders, bonus executives and stack cash. Unions really seem to have become misguided in their approach in recent decades. Union leaders seem to want their members to share in all the good times but not take any part of the bad times. I think that Unions still serve a good and great cause but I think negotiations and strike authorizations require some regulations to make them more streamlined and less likely to result in negative outcomes.

  2. Does he ever admit this was (a) an Initiative which (b) passed by a lliasdnde (c) after the legislature refused to even consider an identical bill? (Many years of pro-choice work demonstrate that you can’t pry the populist truth about Referendum 20 out of the anti-choice crowd.)

  3. Nothing can stop outsourcing. Sorry other pceals just have cheaper labor period.Fortunately, we have one of the best higher education systems in the world. People just need to realize that unskilled labor is not going to be viable in the future. Its gone the way of the Dodo, and nothing can stop it.

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