According to the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, nearly 39,000 workers are victims of wage theft each year, many of whom are low-income individuals with little means to fight the theft in court. These lost wages total nearly $12 million- averaging more than $300 in stolen wages for individual employees.
To combat this issue, a bipartisan wage theft bill was passed through the Legislature last year. The new law expands notification requirements for employers including the disclosure of pay rate, overtime and wage laws to their employees. The law also increased the penalties of wage theft including fees and jail time. This law is vital to holding employers accountable and ensuring every Minnesotan is paid the wage they are owed.
An informational hearing was held this week to discuss the effectiveness of this legislation and means of improvement. The largest concerns have been communication between employers, the state government, and their employees as well as the logistical implications of the new law.