Wage Theft: A Crime Without Punishment (June 28th 2012) Wage Theft: A Crime Without Punishment (June 28th 2012)

Ruth Milkman the 57 year old Professor of Sociology “likes to tell the story of a hotel housekeeper and her tip-stealing boss because it brings together so many features of the phenomenon of wage theft, the subject of her research” according to Katha Pollitt in her article titled ‘Wage Theft: A Crime Without Punishment?’ published in The Nation magazine. Pollitt states ““She was an undocumented Mexican immigrant with four kids, very humble, and she worked in a brand-name Los Angeles hotel, …she worked more than forty hours a week, but was paid only for forty hours—minimum wage. The law says supervisors and managers can’t get any part of your tip, but she said her supervisor would go into hotel rooms and take the tips before the housekeepers came in to clean. She complained about not getting paid for all her hours and was fired.” Female, undocumented, low-wage, not paid for all her hours, fired when she complains—it’s an all-too-typical story. Low-wage workers in the United States face many harsh and demeaning circumstances—not being entitled to paid sick days, for instance. But there’s something particularly shocking about wage theft, an element of insult added to injury: not only does your boss pay you as little as he can get away with; he keeps a nice chunk of it for himself, just because he can.”


Inspired by The Nation ow.ly/bJcTB image source ow.ly/bJdpS