September 1, 2009
The Working Poor In America
… get stolen from, retaliated against, hurt at work and convinced not to complain, and paid less than the minimum wage, not just sometimes, but most of the time:
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…
In surveying 4,387 workers in various low-wage industries, including apparel manufacturing, child care and discount retailing, the researchers found that the typical worker had lost $51 the previous week through wage violations, out of average weekly earnings of $339. That translates into a 15 percent loss in pay…
According to the study, 39 percent of those surveyed were illegal immigrants, 31 percent legal immigrants and 30 percent native-born Americans… [W]omen were far more likely to suffer minimum wage violations than men, with the highest prevalence among women who were illegal immigrants. Among American-born workers, African-Americans had a violation rate nearly triple that for whites.
Excuse me; I need to go punch something. And then maybe throw up. Then punch something else.