Thursday, December 2, 2021

Play

Michiganders mourn the loss of four students after this week's school shooting at Oxford High School, and SCOTUS Justices signal willingness to back a Mississippi abortion prohibition law.

Play

The Supreme Court debates abortion rights; Stacey Abrams will again run to be Georgia's governor; and Congress scrambles to avoid a shutdown.

Play

Seniors in non-urban areas struggle with hunger disproportionately; rural communities make a push for federal money; and Planned Parenthood takes a case to the Montana Supreme Court.

OR Lawmakers Asked to Do More to Fight Wage Theft

Play

Monday, January 11, 2016   

SALEM, Ore. - Some Oregon workers aren't getting paid what they are owed, and at a committee hearing in Salem this week, state lawmakers will get a first look at upcoming legislation to curb wage theft.

Just since Thanksgiving, the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) has announced settlements recovering $2.7 million in unpaid wages for construction workers on state-funded projects. But Michael Dale, executive director, Northwest Workers Justice Project, says BOLI has less staff and a bigger workload than in the 1990s.

He says workers in many fields, particularly in rural Oregon, can't always get the help they need if they aren't being paid fairly – or paid at all.

"The notion that somehow now, the problem is solved – no," says Dale. "Wage theft continues to be a pervasive and broad problem that needs attention. BOLI needs resources, and private workers need to have the ability to enforce their wage claims themselves."

He says the proposal includes giving workers better access to their payroll records, without having to file a lawsuit or a wage claim with BOLI, making it a felony to not pay prevailing wages on jobs, and requiring companies that have had wage-theft problems to post bonds.

Dale says wage theft takes many forms, from refusing to pay, to classifying workers as independent contractors to keep from paying overtime, to asking people to work extra hours "off the clock." He points out that wage theft affects not just individuals, but entire communities.

"Nobody spends the money that they didn't get paid in the grocery store," says Dale. "And it's a problem for other employers, because if an employer is trying to do the right thing, they have to compete with people that may not have the same cost structure because they're not paying their workers right. And that's bad for the economy."

He adds the ideas in the draft legislation have had some backing when they've come up before in Salem in different bills, and are being combined to help get them through the short session in February.

The hearing is Wed., Jan. 13, at 2:00 p.m. in the Senate Workforce and General Government Committee, at the State Capitol.


get more stories like this via email

Civil rights groups are pushing Baltimore County to create a second majority Black council district to better represent its diverse population. (Flickr)

Social Issues

BALTIMORE, Md. -- Maryland civil rights groups are proposing a lawsuit against Baltimore County if it adopts its current redistricting plan, claiming …


Social Issues

LINCOLN, Neb. -- Nearly seven in ten Americans say billionaires are not paying their fair share in taxes, according to a new survey. Among likely …

Social Issues

BISMARCK, N.D. -- Over the coming weeks, North Dakotans will be clicking the "purchase" button as they order holiday gifts online, and fraud experts …


Front-line pandemic workers in Minnesota feel the state is failing them in recognizing them for their work during the crisis, as they were not allowed to work remotely. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

MINNEAPOLIS -- Several regional labor groups rallied in Minneapolis on Wednesday, demanding state leaders take action to reflect the sacrifices made …

Environment

GREENE, Iowa -- The proposed Build Back Better bill is getting attention for a host of funding possibilities, including one area flying under the …

The Republican-created legislative and congressional maps, passed by the Wisconsin Legislature in November, were quickly vetoed by Gov. Tony Evers, teeing up a legal battle. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

MADISON, Wis. -- In a four-three decision this week, the Wisconsin Supreme Court backed a "least-change" approach to redistricting in the state…

Social Issues

OXFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. -- Michiganders are mourning the loss of four students after this week's school shooting at Oxford High School, and advocates …

Social Issues

CONCORD, N.H. -- With the holiday shopping season under way, experts are urging Granite Staters to watch out for scammers. A survey from AARP found …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021