Posts Tagged ‘Wage Theft’

Top Silicon Valley CEOs accused of wage theft

January 28, 2014

I’d guess that if I interviewed a typical Silicon Valley CEO, he’d say he opposed labor unions because wages should be set by the law of supply and demand.  This is conjecture, because I don’t know the views of individual CEOs, but I’d bet it was true.

I’d also bet that many of them buy into the view of certain economists that growing inequality in wages is due to the fact that the most talented workers command more of a premium over average workers than they did in an earlier era.

Be that as it may, Silicon Valley’s top companies – Apple Computer, Google, Abobe, Pixar, Intuit and Intel – are the targets of a class action lawsuit, and Hewlett-Packard in a separate suit, alleging that their CEOs conspired to limit the salaries of their most talented employees.

They allegedly agreed among themselves to refrain from recruiting each others’ employees, to share wage information and to punish companies that wouldn’t co-operate. All this is illegal, of course

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NYC fast food workers report wage theft

May 20, 2013

Fast_food_wage_theft

New York Attorney General Eric Scheiderman has begun an investigation into wage theft from fast-food workers in New York City.   The alleged crimes include paying less than minimum wage, failure to pay overtime, failure to reimburse employees for work-related expenses and falsifying payroll records.

These things are not just bad labor practices.  They are crimes, just as much as picking somebody’s pocket is a crime.  And the victims are hard-working people at the margins of economic survival.

There is every indication that these practices are widespread, not just the actions of a few bad apples.   And to my mind, franchisers—McDonald’s, Burger King, Domino’s and the rest—have just as much responsibility to set standards for obeying labor laws as they have for setting standards of cleanliness and customer service.

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Click on the following links for details.

State Said to Be Reviewing Pay for Fast-Food Workers in the New York Times.

New York City fast food restaurants find a lot of ways to steal from their workers on Daily Kos Labor.

When Your Boss Steals Your Wages: the Invisible Epidemic That’s Sweeping America by Lynn Stuart Parramore on AlterNet.

The profit motive is not an ethical principle

May 15, 2013

Here are links to articles I found interesting about what happens when the profit motive overrides professionalism, social responsibility or obedience to law.

Coming Corporate Control of Medicine Throws Patients Under the Bus

Yves Smith describes the corporate model for medical care, which is to set a limit on how much time a physician can see an individual patient, so as to maximize the number of patients seen in a day.  This means weeding out patients with complicated problems or without good insurance.

Who’s Getting Rich Off Student Loans?  College Endowments

Daniel Luzer of the Washington Monthly tells how college endowment funds invest in student loan servicing and collection companies such as Sallie Mae.   The perverse incentives are that the higher the college tuition, the greater the interest payments and the more profitable the investment.   Sallie Mae is the nickname for a government lender that was privatized in 2004 and became SLM Corp.

When Your Boss Steals Your Wages: The Invisible Epidemic That’s Sweeping America.

Lynn Stuart Parramore of AlterNet reports on the practice of wage theft, which includes not paying for all hours worked, not paying overtime, not paying minimum wage and confiscation of tips.   A survey of 4,000 low-wage workers in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles found that 26 percent were paid below minimum wage and 76 percent were denied overtime pay for working more than 40 hours a week.

The Vicious New Bank Shakedown That Could Seriously Ruin Your Life.

Lynn Stuart Parramore reports on how banks such as Chase JP Morgan are committing the same kinds of abuses in collecting credit card debt that they used in collecting mortgage debt.  What they do is “robo-sign” lawsuit claims without checking records to make sure the information is correct, and give “sewer service” (throw the legal papers in the sewer)  of the claim to the debtor.  The result is that debtors’ wages are garnished even though, in some cases, they may be paid up, and lots of fees and charges are added to their debt without their knowledge.