Tag Archives: wage theft ordinance

Struggle for Wage Theft Ordinance Not Over Yet, But Close

by Diana Moreno

On April 16, the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners voted 3-2 in favor of passing a Wage Recovery Ordinance in Alachua County. The coalition behind the victory, The Alachua County Wage Theft Task Force, spent months outreaching to the religious and business community, as well as lobbying their elected county representatives to pass a local solution to our state’s wage theft epidemic. But what should have been a night of celebration for workers and organizers in Alachua County was muted by the ongoing legislative session and our representative’s efforts to kill our ordinance in Tallahassee.

When the Florida capitol entered its last weeks of session, activists from across the state were watching closely as three preemption bills tried to move through both chambers. These bills — SB 726, HB 655, & SB 1216 — would have destroyed the Task Force’s efforts to protect workers from wage theft, as well as Orange County’s efforts to win paid sick-leave for their community.

Clearly, our state representatives’ distaste for “big government” disappeared quickly when the bottom line of powerful business and special interests groups was being threatened. In the end, session came to a close with only one of the three bills (HB 655) making it through. We were spared the gutting of our ordinance, although our Orange County friends were not as lucky.

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Wage Theft in Alachua County: Too Often, Too Common

by thomas baker

When someone breaks into your home and steals your property, there is a well known number to call to report the crime, and there is a legal system to come to your defense. When hard at work and owed money by your employer, what is the number to call when the check does not arrive?

Lauren Walls had very few resources at hand after the restaurant she worked for five years ago stole her tips.

“The cooks got tipped out, the bussers got tipped out, and then there was a mystery tip out that did not add up,” Walls said.

The more she asked about where the tips went to, she said, “the more I was taken off the schedule.” Walls did not receive her last pay check after she quit, though owed a few hundred dollars; between school and looking for her next job, she did not feel like it was worth hiring a lawyer over.

Unpaid overtime, paid under minimum wage, misclassification as an independent contractor, forced to work off the clock or during meal breaks, altered employee time cards, deducting money from paychecks, getting paid late, or not getting paid at all – in the state of Florida, there are few options to recover wages legally owed to employees.

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