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Sherrod Brown Pushes Wage Theft Bill To Protect Low-Wage Workers

Democratic U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohi is introducing legislation to help crack down on wage theft. He says low-wage workers are especially vulnerable to employers who deny overtime, steal tips or misclassify workers to avoid paying fair wages.  Kevin Niedermeyer of member station WKSU in Kent reports.

A recent survey by the National Employment Law Project showed about a quarter of the workers questioned were paid less than the minimum wage.  Many more said they weren't paid the overtime they earned.  Senator Brown says more jobs like pushing wheelchairs at airports are subcontracted to small independent companies, whereas in the past these workers may have belonged to a union or worked for a major airline...  

"Which wouldn't want to be embarrassed by wage theft perhaps when these small companies that nobody knows what they are that subcontract don't have the sort of consumer brand that would act against their wanting to be known for that."  

Brown's legislation would create stiffer civil penalties for employers who steal wages, increase the amount of earnings workers can recover,  and extend the amount of time workers have to file claims.

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