RESOLUTION CONCERNING WAGE THEFT
WHEREAS, the Bible commands employers to “pay [workers] their wages each day before sunset, because they are poor and are counting on it;” (Deuteronomy 24:15); and
WHEREAS, the Bible also warns: “Woe to him who builds his house by unrighteousness, and his upper rooms by injustice, who makes his neighbor serve him for nothing and does not give him his wages” (Jeremiah 22:13); and
WHEREAS, our Lord, Jesus Christ, preached compassion and commitment for the poor; and
WHEREAS, working people are entitled to all the wages they have earned; and
WHEREAS, wage enforcement policies express the moral values of the public, including our valuation of honest work and honest pay; and
WHEREAS, our national church has recognized the importance of wage enforcement policies, when it _______________________(INCLUDE A STATEMENT FROM YOUR NATIONAL DENOMINATION) and
WHEREAS, some employers seek to minimize labor costs, by withholding wages from workers or committing payroll fraud; and
WHEREAS, wage theft occurs when workers are not paid all their wages, denied minimum wage or overtime pay they are due, or are not paid at all for the work they perform or their tips are stolen or they are called independent contractors when they are really employees; and
WHEREAS, wage theft is a common problem for many low-wage workers and some middle-income workers particularly in sectors like agriculture, landscaping, restaurants, retail, hotels, construction, car wash and janitorial/cleaning services; and
WHEREAS, Virginia has a crisis of wage theft, very weak laws protecting workers against wage theft and only a handful of state staff enforcing the wage theft laws; and
WHEREAS, in their events, congregations, ministries, organizations and institutions of the ___________________ (YOUR DENOMINATION) have significant purchasing power in sectors that are rife with wage theft such as construction, hotels, restaurants and catering firms;
WHEREAS, individual ______________ (YOUR DENOMINATION) and their employers regularly intersect with sectors that are rife with wage theft, such as construction, restaurants, retail stores, janitorial services and car washes;
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the _______________ (YOUR DENOMINATION) invites and encourages all ____________ (YOUR DENOMINATION) congregations, organizations, ministries and institutions – including the seminary – to address issues of wage theft biblically, theologically and ethically; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that all members of the ________________ (YOUR DENOMINATION) are encouraged to support state legislation that strengthens enforcement against wage theft and protects workers from wage theft.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that all members of the ________________ (YOUR DENOMINATION) consider ways that they might unknowingly participate in wage theft by purchasing goods or services produced or provided by workers who are cheated of their wages.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the members of the ________________ (YOUR DENOMINATION) are encouraged to support movements that address wage theft and cooperate with workers, employers, labor unions, worker centers and organizations that are working to secure greater justice in this area; and
FINALLY, BE IT RESOLVED that all congregations, ministries, organizations and institutions of the ________________ (YOUR DENOMINATION) will diligently strive to see that the businesses and/or individuals with whom they contract are ethically treated and justly paid.