Fair Wages for All

Fair Wages for All

Every working person deserves to be paid fairly and fully for their labor. Interfaith Worker Justice was the first national organization to identify and tackle the problem of wage theft in America. We were also an early supporter of the Fight For $15 movement to win a living wage and a union for all working people. We will continue organizing for fair wages until all working people can count on a fair paycheck. 

Wage Theft

Employers are stealing money from working people by cheating them of wages owed or not paying them at all. Failing to pay for even a few minutes of labor, such as not paying for time spent preparing a work station at the start of a shift, or for cleaning up and closing up at the end of a shift, can quickly add up. The Economic Policy Institute found that working people lose as much as $50 billion every year to wage theft. In Los Angeles alone, working people lose $26.2 million every week, according to a study conducted by UCLA.  

One recent campaign we undertook to fight wage theft was to advance Pay Stub reform. As many as 20 million U.S. workers do not receive pay stubs documenting how their pay is calculated or what deductions were taken from their wages. There is no federal requirement that employers give workers pay stubs, and requirements vary widely from state to state as our list of pay stub regulations across the country shows. Often, workers who don't receive pay stubs are victims of wage theft, cheated of the pay they legally earned. We and others have advocated for a Pay Stubs for All regulation. It would require employers to provide workers with information the employers already must keep and would help deter wage theft. 

A Living Wage

A living wage is the amount a working people must earn to adequately provide food, housing, utilities, transportation and health care, without outside assistance from public benefits programs. For a family head of household it would also include child care. A study by the Economic Policy Institute has shown that a living wage of $15 per hour would lift the wages of 41 million working people -- nearly 30% of the workforce. Every ten percent increase in the minimum wage would correlate to a 5.3% decline in the poverty. 

We’ve worked to pass living wage ordinances and protect them after we’ve won from state legislatures looking to overrule local communities’ wishes. We’ve also created programs to certify firms that do pay a living wage as good corporate citizens and other strategies. In addition, we will continue to support the Fight For $15 movement both nationally and locally until every working person is paid a living wage.