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Employers Pay Only a Fraction of What They Owe in Wage Theft Cases

Fact Sheet
February 11, 2015 Download PDF

Even in cases where state regulators have concluded that employers failed to pay workers their wages, employers end up paying only a fraction of the dollars found to be owed.

During a recent three-year period, nearly three quarters of all Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) monetary findings against employers have not been recovered from the employers.[1] BOLI monetary findings include orders for unpaid wages, civil penalties, penalty wages, interest and court fees. From July 2010 to June 2013, BOLI issued monetary findings against employers in 3,303 wage claim cases totaling $6.2 million.[2] Of that dollar amount, employers paid $1.8 million.[3] Thus, as a group the employers escaped paying 72 percent of the total amount owed to employees.

These findings confirm the need for stronger legal tools to assist workers and state authorities in recovering payment from unscrupulous employers who take wages from their workers.

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Employers Pay Only a Fraction of What They Owe in Wage Theft Cases (PDF)


[1] Oregon workers may assert wage claims through the courts or through BOLI. This analysis examines claims filed with BOLI.

[2] This analysis excludes cases where BOLI determined the employer owed wages but the employee either subsequently could not be found or chose to close the case prior to receiving payment.

[3] Employees received another $1.5 million from the BOLI-administered Wage Security Fund.

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