An article on wage theft in In These Times magazine cites a 2008 study by the Center for Urban Economic Development, then directed by Nik Theodore, that found that nearly 60 percent of the workers surveyed had experienced some sort of wage violation.
Wage theft is a problem with large amounts of money at stake, especially for low-wage workers. In 2008, a joint study by the Center for Urban Economic Development, the National Employment Law Project, and the UCLA Institute for Research on Labor and Employment found that nearly 60 percent of the surveyed workers had experienced some sort of wage violation. The violations included examples of not receiving overtime pay, breaks shorter than legally required, and being paid below the minimum wage. In Cook County alone, the study found that $7.3 million is being stolen from workers every week.
The study concluded that “many employment and labor laws are regularly and systematically violated, impacting a significant part of the low-wage labor force in the nation’s largest cities.”