Imagine leaving work and being approached by someone who threatens you and then steals all your tips you earned that day. You'd immediately call the police because a crime was committed against you, right? How is it any different when your employer robs you of your tips? It's different because police won't investigate and you'd have little recourse through the court system. Also, you may consider the consequences of fighting it too risky. Workers know that reporting unlawful activity may result in their firing, demotion, harassment, deportation, blacklisting, discrimination, and more frightening consequences. Employers often do not keep the records they’re supposed to, making it difficult to prove violations.This is why wage theft is such a massive and growing crime in the U.S., because employers get away with it. An estimated $4 billion is taken from workers annually through wage theft, the majority are women.
Najah Farley, an attorney with the National Employment Law Project, is leading a campaign to hold employers accountable, building upon the powerful grassroots energy around wage theft campaigns throughout the country. Using high-profile street protests and new organizing strategies to target unscrupulous employers, The National Employment Law Project is mounting campaigns to strengthen legal protections and set up new enforcement mechanisms. Najah is exposing the issue of wage theft on the airwaves to educate the public and lawmakers about the scale of the problem and how to fight it. In the process, she is creating a strong, enduring movement. Here's their game plan.
The Secure Women podcast, launching January 2021, will feature an interview with Najah.