Letter to the Editor

Wage theft issuedeserves attention

In today's tough economy, Rogue Valley workers are vulnerable to employer demands to work extra hours "off the clock," do without overtime pay, or other forms of wage theft. This just isn't right, and it leaves hard-working families without enough to buy food or pay rent, hurting our whole local economy.

Wage theft is a growing problem locally and statewide. Yet many Oregonians, even workers, don't know what it is or what to do about it. Wage theft is exactly what it sounds like; any time an employer doesn't pay a worker for all of their work. The Coalition to Stop Wage Theft explains common ways this occurs: "It happens when employers pay less than the minimum wage, don't pay overtime, force employees to work 'off the clock' or 'under the table', issue paychecks that bounce, steal tips, deny legally required meal and rest breaks, or don't pay workers at all."

Right now Oregon's employment laws do not fully protect hard-working people from these illegal practices because of loopholes and not enough enforcement. Will you join me in calling on our elected representatives to take action? It's time to close the loopholes and protect Oregon's workers and our local economy.

Michelle Glass


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