Even in cases where state authorities have found that employers failed to pay workers their wages and sought payment, employers end up paying only a fraction of the dollars owed.
During a recent two-year period, more than two-thirds of all monetary findings against employers by the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) have not been recovered from the employers. Monetary findings include unpaid wages, civil penalties, penalty wages, interest and court fees. From July 2010 to June 2012, BOLI issued monetary findings against employers in 1,812 wage claim cases totaling $4.1 million. Of that dollar amount, employers paid $1.3 million. Another $1 million was paid by the state’s Wage Security Fund. Thus, employers escaped paying 69 percent of the total monetary findings during this period.
This data confirms the need for stronger legal tools to assist workers and state authorities in recovering payment from unscrupulous employers who steal wages from their workers.
OCPP intern Zac Goldstein contributed to the analysis in this fact sheet.