Report Highlights Prevalence and Impact of Wage Theft in Houston

Posted |

For Immediate Release, May 11, 2012

IWJ (National) Contact: Cathy Junia
Phone: 773-710-9837

HIWJ (Houston) Contact: Jose Eduardo Sanchez
Phone: (O) 713-862-8222; (M) 832-715-5975

National – More than $753.2 million in wages are stolen from workers in the Houston region each year, according to a new report by the Houston Interfaith Worker Justice Center (HIWJ). The repercussions of this crime are city-wide and affect business owners, communities, and workers alike.

“We’ve always known about the great hardships faced by workers due to wage theft,” says Jose Eduardo Sanchez, HIWJ organizer and the report’s primary author. “However, we also know that there were effects beyond just the worker, that also affected entire communities and our local economy.”

The report — “Houston, We Have a Wage Theft Problem: The Impact of Wage Theft in Our City, and the Local Solutions Necessary to Stop It” — is available at

Wage theft is a big problem in Houston, but it doesn’t just happen there. The reality is that every day, millions of workers across our country are being robbed and cheated by their employers. But workers and their allies are fighting back.

HIWJ and a coalition of community, faith, and labor groups and a number of responsible businesses kicked off the Down With Wage Theft Campaign, pushing for steeper penalties, beefed-up enforcement and protections for workers who report stolen wages

Legislation has been passed in Texas, San Francisco, Seattle and Miami-Dade County. Several groups in other parts of the country are gearing up for wage theft campaigns in their areas. Stay tuned.

 Interfaith Worker Justice has been organizing, educating and advocating at the intersection of work and faith since 1996. To learn more about the national campaign to end wage theft, visit