BY STEVEN GIRARDI
Published: April 2, 2015
ST. PETERSBURG – An ordinance to help protect workers from being paid unfairly or, in some cases, not paid at all, passed its first review by the City Council on Thursday. The council voted unanimously to establish a city office to help workers file and pursue wage theft complaints against employers. The ordinance will require a second approval later this month.
City Councilwoman Darden Rice, who proposed the ordinance, said the city needs to protect workers, as well as employers who are harmed by competitors who pay illegally low wages.
The wage theft problem gained attention when Pinellas landed forth on list of counties with the highest incidents of wage theft in the state, behind Miami-Dade, Hillsborough and Broward, in a study by Florida International University in Miami.