Wage theft is prevalent, even among construction projects paid for by the city of Seattle.
The city’s Department of Finance and Administrative (FAS) employs six people to monitor wage theft among city construction contracts. Four have been working on the issue since 2006, but last year the council approved two more employees to address an uptick in wage-theft complaints.
Since 2006 the city’s investigators were able to pay construction employees more than $275,000 in recovered wages.
“This is not a unique issue to Seattle,” said Nancy Locke, director of city purchasing, describing how wages are intentionally and unintentionally withheld from workers.