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Supervisors and activists decry businesses that deny wages to low-income workers

 For one of this country's first government hearings regarding wage theft yesterday (Thurs/12), San Francisco activists, public employees, and politicians alike were determined to find ways to address issues surrounding low-income workers who are paid below minimum wage or otherwise deprived of money they're entitled to.  Wage theft may involve a number of different violations including payment below the minimum wage, obligation to work off the clock, and denial of overtime and sick pay. Low-income jobs such as construction work, hospitality and domestic care are the most cited types of employment for wage theft and wage theft disproportionately affects communities of color and those with language barriers.  

“We are not going to allow any worker in San Francisco to be exploited,” said Sup. David Campos said on the steps of City Hall, later presiding over the Government Audit and Oversight Committee hearing on the issue. “Wage theft affects the lowest wage workers and their ability to make a living and survive in these tough economic times.”  The pre-hearing protest and the meeting was comprised of workers with emotional stories of poverty and injustice. Other speakers included Donna Levitt, the director of the Office of Labor Standards Enforcement, the agency in charge of overseeing claims of employers withholding wages, and Rajiv Bhatia, the director of Occupational and Environmental Health at the San Francisco Department of Public Health. (click on link to read full story) 

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