Employers Steal Billions in Wage Theft

Employers Steal Billions in Wage Theft

A survey by the Economic Policy Institute has shown that millions of Americans are the victims of wage theft. According to the survey, in the 10 most populous U.S. states that were examined 2.4 million workers lost $8 billion each year from wage theft.

Wage theft takes many concrete forms. Paying workers less than the federal or state minimum wage, failing to pay overtime, and stealing tips all constitute wage theft. There are many other ways that employers regularly commit wage theft and increase their profits.

The agencies that are supposed to police labor laws that would reduce wage theft are chronically understaffed. The Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division has the same staff levels as 70 years ago, but has to protect six times as many workers.

This situation is not an accident. The American legislature, executive, and judiciary serve the class interests of the oligarchs. 14 U.S. states lack the capacity to investigate wage theft entirely and have workers that are completely vulnerable to wage theft. This situation greatly hurts the working class and benefits the capitalists.

The process of production does not require the capitalist at all, who simply purchases materials and employs the concrete labor of the working class. The capitalist always buys the inputs to production, and sells the output at a profit  The capitalist steals once in securing profits in production, the difference between the value added by workers and what they are paid as a wage. Wage theft simply represents another avenue through which the capitalists can exploit the working class by not paying for the concrete labor of workers.