New York

Mamaroneck High School students confront wage theft

Mamaroneck, New York – You might think that robberies and robberies make up the majority of stolen money.

But as it turns out, Wage theft costs Americans more than any other type of theft.

Work Hard for Money – Hard work and long hours.

“They’re just told they won’t get paid. They’re angry and frustrated,” said workers advocate Luis Zarate.

At the Mamaroneck Community Resource Center, Zarate said wage theft was a big focus. And he found that CBS2 is a big problem in New York State.

CBS news analytics data From the State Department of Labor, through a Public Records Request for Freedom of Information. Since 2010, workers have filed nearly 53,000 wage theft claims, resulting in unpaid wages, tips and overtime totaling about $364 million.

Only 59% of plaintiffs received payments, totaling $220 million. Only 21% of cases were paid in full.

Zarate helped two restaurant workers apply for years of unpaid overtime. The Labor Department sentenced her to $65,000 and her $90,000.

“But in the end, they were only paid $25,000, $35,000,” Zarate said. It’s still there.”

Many people receive less than they owe to settle irritating delays.

Zarate said some employers have learned how to avoid payments.

“They hide assets and create new entities. They declare bankruptcy, create new entities and go back to business as usual,” Zarate said.

Many victims of wage theft are recent immigrants whose status has been weaponized by unscrupulous employers.

“Employers tell them, ‘There’s nothing you can do. Do you have to worry about immigration and customs crackdowns and ICE?'” Aiello asked.

“If you go against us, we’ll report you to ICE. We’ve heard it many times,” Zarate said.

“It’s really heartbreaking to us that people can work so hard just to feed their families and feed themselves and get nothing,” said Ben Krish.

A student at Mamaroneck High School, Krish participates in a social issue program along with other students. This year, the focus is on wage theft.

“There are several people at school whose parents, or perhaps even themselves, suffer from this problem, and the people sitting next to them don’t even know it’s happening.” ‘ said student Jack Master.

They created stickers that honor businesses that commit to following ethical wage practices rather than shame those who commit wage theft. The sticker read, “Ethical Business – Fully Paid Wages.”

“We basically just reward law-abiding and being a good employer. It’s mutually beneficial. Workers get paid and get promoted,” said student Lea Barry- Thouez said.

“It’s great to see young people really taking an interest in this issue,” said Zarate.

According to Zarate, students are organizing wage theft community forums to raise awareness of the issue and help workers fight wage theft and recover what they owe.

https://www.cbsnews.com/newyork/news/students-at-mamaroneck-high-school-take-on-wage-theft/ Mamaroneck High School students confront wage theft

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