By Ross Lenihan
Ahhh Florida, the land of sunshine, retirees and gators. Oh, and wage theft. It turns out that Florida’s Trump-supporting Attorney General, Pam Bondi, has not brought a single minimum wage enforcement action against bad employers in five years in the Sunshine State. And it’s not because there haven’t been legitimate cases.
“Wage theft” includes not paying workers legally-mandated wages and overtime pay. In the past two years alone, there have been more than three dozen wage violations filed in Florida, and as we know, there are always far more cases than ever reach the court system.
In contrast, New York Attorney General Eric Shneiderman – who took office the same year as Bondi – has recovered over $21 million in back pay for New York workers. That’s also for a state with a smaller population than Florida. It’s important to note that New York has its own state Labor Department, which is charged with tracking wage theft. Florida had one of those too, but Jeb Bush shut it down.
Some Florida counties and cities are taking matters into their own hands, creating worker-friendly ordinances that help workers recover their legal wages and overtime. However, the state GOP has successfully rebuffed most statewide attempts at such actions.
Here at Labor 411, we support the right of workers both to organize and to get the pay they agree to. This Florida news should shock and offend anyone who supports American workers and the ideal that hard work should pay off.
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