Minnesota Democrats Work to Pass Wage Theft Prevention Protections

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Lt. Governor Tina Smith was joined by Minnesota workers and legislators at the State Capitol today, to rally and urge the Legislature to hold employees that commit wage theft accountable for their failure to pay for work already performed.

Wage theft occurs when employers don’t pay workers what is owed to them for work performed. The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry estimates that over 39,000 workers experience wage theft in Minnesota each year. It averages to around $11.9 million dollars of wages, overtime, and benefits that are owed, but not paid to these workers.

There is currently no state law that prohibits or penalizes employers that do not pay their employees for work performed.

Democrats’ proposed legislation would further define wage theft, give regulators more money to investigate cases and raise penalties for businesses that have underpaid workers.

St. Paul Representative Tim Mahoney says the changes would help protect workers from future wage theft while aiding the investigation of over 20,000 complaints filed each year.