Wage Violations are Shameful

There has been a drastic increase in worker violations since the onset of COVID-19. The American employer has responded by seemingly being passive with regards to the exploitation of their labor as times have become especially dire. There is no time to be prideful with fighting for their deserved liberties, as now COVID has led many to the mentality of survival. Many workers are grateful for just having a job, as with an unemployment rate of about 8.4%, getting too picky can easily lead to them being one of millions not having a stable source of income.

The Washington Center for Equitable Growth published a paper on some potential violations. The typical worker on the wrong side of these violations lost approximately 20% of their hourly wage. 

Furthermore, more than 20% of workers were paid less than minimum wage in April, back when the unemployment rate was over 10%. The law of the land failed these workers. During pandemic times, labor regulators have less resources that can be utilized for enforcing worker rights, along with their budgets being cut.

Minimum wage workers have it extremely tough due to basically being devoid of any power. Not only are minimum wage workers often in need of their job, but they cannot protest because of the social-distancing needed due to COVID. 

This is a perfect example of how certain violations are essentially impossible to address. Seemingly no matter what choice is made by a minimum wage worker, they run a high-risk of hurting themselves or other people who greatly need work. I believe the US would benefit from having a contingency plan that gives people work during recessions, as well as employing more labor regulators for future issues like this. 

By Matthew Jean-Mary

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