Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Hilda, We Need You

Low Wage Workers Exploited: Worse for Homeless People

The New York Times detailed a study released this Wednesday, which showed a majority of low wage workers faced recent exploitation. A good article that is even more prevalent problem within the homeless community. We have tried to assist low income workers to complain to the US Department of Labor when they are ripped off by an employer. A Department of Labor complaint was not worth the paper it was written on over the last five years. No one followed up. If they did follow up, they would demand more paperwork that was held by the employer or they would delay until after the two year deadline passed. There was never any investigation done or any heat ever put on the employer.

There is so much exploitation of homeless people in employment matters especially among the temporary labor companies. They illegally nickel and dime the workers with fees that often drop their wages below the minimum wage. They try to discourage workman's comp. claims even paying their own doctors to convince people that they do not need to file a claim. We need you Department of Labor Secretary Hilda Solis to step up and start enforcing the existing laws. These men and women do the worst back breaking work in our communities, and then at the end of the day one-third of their pay is stolen by their Escalade driving supervisors. They get sent out to clean out dumpsters, paint in 120 degree heat, or lift huge pieces of equipment on or off the factory line, and they deserve all of their pay and more. These men and women are the heart of our economy, and have earned a hard days pay, but when they leave the agency they don't even have enough money for a motel room. They never can save enough money to afford rent even after trying to work as many hours as they can get.

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1 comment:

Carney said...

Thanks for posting this. I had written briefly about day-labor scams here in Cincinnati. Many people are astonished to find out that homeless people actually work for a living, but still cannot afford housing. Even with the long overdue increase in the minimum wage, this problem persists.