CEOs are literally stealing workers’ wages

As CNN reports – wage theft complaints have increased 400% over the last decade – with over 7,000 lawsuits alleging wage and hour violations against employers filed just in 2011. The complaints center on workers accusing their employers of not paying them for all the hours they worked or not paying overtime that they were entitled to. Some of the companies that have had suits filed against them are Walmart, Starbucks, and Bank of America.

This is yet another consequence of our corporate capitalism model – where executives are rewarded for squeezing whatever profits they can out of a company – including nickel and dimeing their workers – or outright stealing from them – just to hit quarterly profit goals. Time to bring back business in the public interest.


Richard York's picture
Richard York 12 years 3 weeks ago

In a few short years whites will be a minority in this country. I believe I recently heard that already there are more African-American babies being born than white babies. I happen to think this is a good thing, of course, and something that will be the catalyst for the social change that we desparelty need.

But there's a poetic justice underscoring that change, that is to say the change of white people becoming a minority. They have with stone-cold hearts, hard as steel, imposed a racist and radical agenda of inequality that will lead to the very thing they wish with all their being to prevent; more progressives coming to power.

We know that empowered and educated women have less babies. I beleive their campaign of inequality is the very thing that will bring them down. Minority women are having far more babies because of the rift in education and opportunities for minority people, and white privilege will slowly but surely diminish as the demographic landscape shifts.

I only pray this change happens sooner rather than later.

dowdotica's picture
dowdotica 12 years 3 weeks ago

Tell me somthin' i don't know! 30 years as a working class stiff, 4 professions several employers and of all of them I only worked for one that had one iota of ethic. They squeeze the golden egz out anyway they can! and when they can't squeeze anymore? ...send you to the un employment line or make some stupid excuse to keep you at the pay grade your at. So much for trickle down huh? Meanwhile? THey still take "their" 3 trips to europe each year, lease a new car every 3 years, buy up short sales to diversify their wealth and then turn around a cheat on the tax return!!!!

Hey tell me what i missed. i must have been taught something different!lol

klentz's picture
klentz 12 years 3 weeks ago

I think this is the expected response to a windfall - Except for the very dumbest executives, they all know that the current "low tax" bonanza will not last forever - thus we better get ours now. The bad news is that they are wringing every penny out of corporations for themselves at the expense of workers (and R&D, and corporate infrastructure). The good news is that as soon as we raise taxes on these guys to a reasonable level (66% over 1 million), they will stop sucking out obscene amounts for themselves and go back to business as usual. Since the money cannot be pocketed, they will invest in the company's future - which means jobs, etc.

Unless of course, we allow this to go on too long and they become so addicted that they resort to other destructive ways to enrich themselves. It may of course already be too late.

leighmf's picture
leighmf 12 years 3 weeks ago

Companies like "Lincoln Heritage" have the nerve to advertise on television, "Trillions of investment dollars have been lost and people have lost their retirement finish your life with a reverse mortgage."

Trillions of investment dollars have not been lost, even Romney knows that and is vain enough to admit it publicly.

Every loser device we have witnessed since 1970, which has perpetuated losses to the common stockholder, is culminating in the ultimate scheme to end individual property ownership.

Since Lincoln Financial Advisors are filthy rich, the loss of pensions countrywide should be attributed to the Tyrant which has manipulated commerce to that effect.

A reverse mortgage devalues a property by more than 50% and guarantees homestead property will be lost to direct descendants.

Between the mortgage crisis, and the mysterious lost public trillions, and skyrocketing everyday expenses, under these constant threats to our security, what is left of the middle class is being terrorized into forfeiting what they and their forefathers have worked for, sometimes for generations.

Individual property ownership is no longer in the plan for U.S. citizens. This should make us wonder, who is making this plan? No friends of mine are involved.

DHBranski's picture
DHBranski 12 years 3 weeks ago

Wage theft among bottom-wage labor has been common for years, and America didn't consider it worth raising a fuss about. Why not let the middle class benefit from the same opportunities?

Richard, with all due respect, are you aware that the majority of America's poor are white? Or that women, regardless of color, make up the great majority of the poorest? How about that the rural poor especially suffer conditions of deprivation and hopelessness? This isn't the 1960s. Did you know that the poor (regardless of race) do NOT have the same legal rights as the middle class? Or that it was the middle class and rich of all races and both primary political parties that took an ax to the proverbial ladder out of poverty? One could consider this "class war." I don't know the current birth rate statistics by race or class, only that since we enacted our successful and popular welfare reform, infant mortality rates among America's poor now surpasses that of some Third World countries -- but we're all OK with that. We can talk about race, but not about class. The realities of US poverty has been censored out of the public discussion, eliminated from the political discussion, erased from the media.

campbellsj002's picture
campbellsj002 12 years 3 weeks ago

This is nothing new. I worked for a company from 1980 to about 1992, the last four years working 55-60 and even 70 hours a week and only being paid for 40. I was in the lowest classification for the jobs I was doing, and always received an "adequate" review because an accurate review would have meant a better raise. During this time I went from $6.25 to about $8.00 per hour, always in the lowest 10% for each job. When I asked my boss whether I qualified for overtime, he stood up and screamed in my face that if I , wanted overtime, he was going to knock me back to $5.00 an hour. I had no time to search for a better job and was so beaten down that I couldn't sell myself to another employer.

When they put me in the Human Resources position (duh) I found out the truth. I had been eligible for overtime for the entire four years - if you calculated it at 55 hours per week (which was conservative) I was effectively earning less than minimum wage. They owed me for at least 2000 hours of overtime. I had so little money that I couldn't even afford to call a lawyer; I caved and accepted some extra vacation time and a change in my job classification.

I finally blew the whistle after inheriting some money because, predictably, they immediately started treating me like shit. I was glad to go, but not everybody has the opportunity to start a new life like I did. At least they stopped lying to the people who followed me in those jobs, but they did have to replace me with two people each time because nobody could do it all in 40 hours. The person who followed me couldn't handle the whole job, so they got him an assistant. And ironically, he got a raise because he was now a supervisor.

markincorsicana 12 years 3 weeks ago

The county hospital I work for in texas did not pay time and a half for overtime to RN's for more than 10 years, until about 2005. They also edited the time sheets so that if we stayed less than 1 hour over we were paid nothing at all. But like almost all nurses we were rarely able to leave on time. Now that the hospital is in trouble with Medicare we are told that we may not receive our pension which we paid into instead of Social Security. The ceo is a big man in the baptist church. If you haven't read Jeff Sharlet's "The Family" you should (teabrains excepted of course).

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 12 years 3 weeks ago

The job numbers report just out indicates just how bad the problem of employers stealing from workers is. Sales are up, profits are up, productivity is up,....wages and employment are the math! Thanks to the last republican economic crash employers are cashing in on a unionless and desperate workforce. Employee downsizing often without workload shrinkage forces one to do the work of two or three. Trickle- up economics on steroids!

The answer....... UNIONIZE, form COOPERATIVES, and fire the CEO's, so to speak!

AnneHamon's picture
AnneHamon 12 years 3 weeks ago

Your post is so very sad and true. I think what we are witnessing is Capitalism in the cancerous stage, as Thom Hartmann has phrased it at times. Society is cannibalizing itself because the good man has perished in the earth. Or as Jesus put it,,, as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the last days. Fortunately he also said, "Do not worry about tomorrow for today has enough trouble of its own."

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