Minnesota Lawmakers, labor, make push against wage theft

Published 7:37 am Thursday, February 7, 2019

ST. PAUL — Lawmakers and labor leaders are making a push to stiffen penalties on employers who fail to pay workers the wages they’re owed.

They say at least 40,000 Minnesotans are victims of wage theft every year, costing them around $12 million in unpaid wages. And they say the state lacks sufficient power to help shortchanged workers recover the money they earned.

The bill, which was set for its first committee hearing Wednesday, is among the House Democrats’ top 10 priorities this session. But it hasn’t been introduced yet in the Republican-controlled Senate.

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Democratic House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler says unpaid workers have been waiting too long for justice.