Group Wants Kalamazoo To Outlaw Wage Theft

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KALAMAZOO (WKZO) — A loose consortium of church and advocacy groups that lobby for poor people and the homeless want local municipalities to pass ordinances outlawing wage theft. They claim that as many as one in four homeless, poor, young and desperate residents are offered jobs, and perform them, and are then cheated out of all or part of the promised wages.

The group took their case to the city commission this week. The State already has laws against it, but the process for handling a case is cumbersome and usually ends in a compromise settlement. They want it treated like a crime. A couple of commissioners expressed interest in exploring the idea, but no committees have been formed.