For many, a missing paycheck or late pay can result in missed car, rent, or child support payments, each of which has serious long term impact and ultimately threatens the entire Commonwealth’s economy. That’s why increased transparency, penalties, and resources are needed to hold employers accountable and give employees the knowledge they need to ensure fairness.
Over the past 30 years, the rich have been getting richer while the poor have been getting poorer. Since the start of the Great Recession, this trend has further accelerated across the nation and in Virginia. Raising the minimum wage to $10.10 over three years would help close the wage gap and give a boost to struggling families, lifting them out of poverty. In Virginia, six in ten minimum wage workers are women and many are raising families.
In our relatively new effort against wage theft, VICPP is: pushing to have the state’s Misclassification Taskforce actually function and implement new ways to crack down on worker misclassification; holding wage theft forums around the state to lift up the issue; drafting a revised Payment of Wages bill and find sponsors for introducing in the 2018 General Assembly; developing a Living Wage Certification program that will honor ethical employers in Richmond (and explore possibilities in other cities); piloting a program around training volunteers to help with both identifying and responding to wage theft and finding ethical businesses; developing a Worker Center in Richmond, a non-profit, community-based mediating organization that organizes and supports low wage workers who are not already a part of a collective bargaining organization like a trade union. Our executive director, Kim Bob, literally wrote the book on wage theft, so we are pleased and excited to have such an expert leading this fight.
The Richmond Area Living Wage Certification Program is a joint program of the Richmond Chapter of the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy and the City of Richmond Office of Community Wealth Building.