BY DARDEN RICE, Vice Chair of St. Pete City Council
Posted on October 13, 2016 by TWC
ST. PETERSBURG – St. Petersburg’s Wage Theft Prevention Program has been underway for the past year. “Wage theft” is a broad term that includes any type of non-payment or underpayment by an employer. It can take the form of loss of overtime, illegal tip practices, being paid less than minimum wage and independent contractor misclassification.
According to a study conducted by Florida International University, Pinellas County has the fourth highest rate of wage theft in the state.
When unscrupulous businesses cheat their workers our economy suffers. Honest businesses are losing profits by being forced to compete against unethical businesses that have an unfair advantage. Workers are struggling to pay their bills and cannot afford to put money back into the local economy. All taxpayers suffer when employers refuse to pay their fair share into Social Security and workers’ compensation insurance by misclassifying their employees as independent contractors. The St. Petersburg Wage Theft Prevention Program sees these impacts first-hand on a daily basis.