A recent study by the Progressive States Network gave Iowa and 43 other states failing grades for the few state laws they have in place to comprehensively address the increasing national crime of wage theft. As the name implies, wage theft denies employees compensation for work performed.
There are various types of wage theft such as nonpayment or underpayment of wages, employer confiscation of tips, employers’ unauthorized deductions from paychecks, and the broad category of “misclassification,” in which employees are improperly labeled as independent contractors or treated as salaried employees to avoid overtime rules.
An Iowa Policy Project (IPP) senior research consultant estimates that low-wage Iowa workers are robbed of about $600 million a year, costing the state some $60 million in revenue. Not only are workers hard-earned wages being stolen while the state misses out on tax revenue, dishonest competitors end-up gaining a market advantage over businesses following the rules. The problem is a significant lose-lose scenario for the whole state.
Economic conditions make it more likely that employers will resort to wage violations, and few workers will risk their jobs to object so the situation is becoming more dire. Unfortunately, Iowa stands out as the state with the fewest enforcement resources per worker, employing only one investigator of wage violations for the entire state. Meanwhile, workers are bearing the brunt of lost wages.
You deserve your full pay for hours worked and for commission, vacation pay and sick time earned. For more information regarding your wage and hour law rights, contact the attorney team at Stoltze & Stoltze, PLC
Source: Iowa Policy Project. Org, “Wage Theft in Iowa”, Accessed December 29, 2015.