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In What Industries Is Wage Theft Prevalent?

Fact Sheet
February 9, 2012 Download PDF

Wage claims filed with state authorities provide a glimpse of the serious problem of wage theft in Oregon.

Wage theft occurs when employers pay workers less than the minimum wage, don't pay time-and-a-half for overtime hours, cheat on the number of hours worked, steal tips or don't pay workers at all. Some workers seek redress with state authorities. Many don't, possibly because they are unaware that help is available or fear reprisal from their employer.

Nevertheless, wage claims filed with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) constitute an important source of data regarding wage theft in Oregon. This fact sheet summarizes the findings of OCPP's analysis of wage claims filed with BOLI during the one-year period starting in July 2010 and ending in June 2011.

Total number of claims filed: 1,159.

Total dollar amount of claims: $3,351,100.

Industry with highest share of claims relative to the size of its

Industry with second highest share of claims relative to the size of its

Industry with highest number of total claims: accommodation and food services.

[1] All industry calculations in this fact sheet are based on total claims, excluding those in the agriculture industry, filed with BOLI and non-farm employment data from the Oregon Employment Department (OED). OCPP adjusted industry categories defined by BOLI to allow comparison with OED data. Claims in the construction industry comprise 0.3 percent of the industry's workforce.

[2] Claims in the information industry comprise 0.18 percent of the industry's workforce.

[3] Claims in the accommodation and food services industry comprise 0.17 percent of the industry's workforce, the third highest such percent among industries in OCPP's analysis.

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