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Wage Theft Prevention / Wage Recovery Act Backed by NM Senator

Various United States Bank Notes
S. Baxter Clinton
Various United States Bank Notes

Today, March 19th, US Senator Martin Heinrich of New Mexico announced his cosponsorship of the Wage Theft Prevention and Wage Recovery Act.

This legislation was led by Senator Patty Murry of Washington and was designed to be broadly written to make sure earned wages make it to the employees and that employers withholding wages would be reprimanded.

This includes workers’ right to receive full compensation for their completed work and receiving pay stubs and checks regularly in a timely manner.

Each year, wage theft denies workers tens of billions of dollars of compensation that had been earned, through employers violating regulations regarding minimum wage, Overtime pay, clock in procedures, Tip management, and meal-times.

According to a book, Grand Theft Paycheck by Philip Mattera, large corporations have been notorious for wage theft.

Between 2017 and 2020 the US Department of Labor recovered over $3 billion dollars in wages stolen from workers, this being a fraction of the nationwide issue.

This issue largely affects those in the country that earn the least, excessively increasing poverty and inequality issues among these workers.

Senator Heinrich said, “New Mexicans work hard to put food on the table and provide for their family. Their wages should always reflect that work. I’m proud to cosponsor legislation that will crack down on big corporations that withhold pay from workers. I will always stand with New Mexico’s working families and fight to make sure our economy works for them.”

The Wage theft and Wage recovery act will help protect workers by: increasing workers rights and improving employer accountability, mitigating the corporate culture that is associated with wage theft, increasing the penalties for wage theft violations, improving resources to recover workers stolen wages and increasing company transparency of employment records.

This Legislation was sponsored by a democratic cohort along with Bernie Sanders, the Independent from Vermont.

Shantar Baxter Clinton is the hourly News Reporter for KSFR. He’s earned an Associates of the Arts from Bard College at Simons Rock and a Bachelors in journalism with a minor in anthropology from the University of Maine.