Workers across Houston are being robbed. But it’s not by a masked burglar. It’s by their bosses.
Wage theft happens every day across America. Low-wage workers, particularly those in the retail and service sectors, are often cheated out of the minimum wage and overtime that they are entitled to by their employers.
Any time a server is asked to clean tables after they’ve punched out? That’s wage theft. When an hourly-wage retail attendant is paid less than time-and-a-half for hours worked past 40 a week? That’s wage theft. Whenever a construction worker doesn’t receive their last paycheck? That’s wage theft.
Wage theft is illegal, yet employers constantly get away with it. In Houston, more than 100 wage and hour violations occur every week. But we have an opportunity to change this.
Mayor Annise Parker is bringing a wage theft ordinance before the Houston City Council on Wednesday, November 12.
The ordinance would make any business convicted of or assessed an administrative penalty for wage theft ineligible for city contracts. It would create a huge incentive for businesses to follow the law and pay workers what they are owed.
We’ve gone door-to-door talking to thousands of Houstonians collecting over 1,000 handwritten letters with one message: City Council needs to act now and stop allowing a few businesses to take advantage of workers. We’ve called on City Council to listen to the people and not make back room deals with lobbyists and special interest groups.
Tomorrow, they’ll show their hand. Tell the City Council to support the anti-wage theft bill.
Here’s a sample of what you can write:
Every worker deserves fair pay for a fair day’s work. That’s why I urge you to support the Wage Theft Ordinance.
The ordinance will level the playing field for responsible businesses and hold businesses that steal wages from their workers accountable and ensure they do not receive city contracts, permits or licenses.
Every worker deserves wage protection in Houston. Please vote in favor of the Wage Theft Ordinance.