The study shows that 26% of the workers in the sample were paid less than the minimum wage in the previous workweek, and 60% of workers were underpaid by more than $1 per hour.
In the case of overtime pay, of those included in the study, 76% were not paid the legally required overtime rate by their employers, and the average worker was either not paid correctly or not paid at all for 11 hours a week of overtime worked.
Similarly, in 'off the clock' hours, almost a quarter of the workers in this study were required to come in early and/or stay later after their shift during the previous workweek. Of these workers, 70% did not receive any pay for the work they performed outside of their regular shift.
Lastly, of those employees entitled to a meal break, most either received no break at all, had short lunch breaks, or were interrupted by employer required duties.
These violations have a tremendous impact, not just on the affected employee, but the community as a whole. In a nutshell, unscrupulous employers cause responsible employers to violate the law in order to stay competitive; employees lose money to feed their families and spend less; ultimately, thwarting economic growth.
As this research indicates, improving the status quo, requires the following:
- Strengthen goverment enforcement;
- Update legal standards for the 21st century labor market; and
- Ensure workers know their rights