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.
We envision a Virginia where all workers are paid a living wage so that they can provide for themselves and their families and all workers are treated with dignity.
In 2019, we were able to pass bills to remove the Jim Crow era language from the Virginia Minimum Wage Act (sponsored by Del. Price and Sen. Spruill) and require paystubs for all workers (sponsored by Del. Aird and Sen. Wagner).
Now, we are excited to be launching our paid sick days campaign for the 2020 General Assembly Session, while continuing our work to stop and deter wage theft.
In Virginia, 1.2 million workers have 0 paid sick days (or paid time off). We believe that all workers should be able to stay home with a sick child or visit the doctor as needed. Paid sick days support working families, educators, medical professionals, and business leaders. That’s why we’re working to require all employees to accrue at least 5 paid sick days every year.
We recognize that the current Virginia minimum wage ($7.25) is woefully inadequate. Paying a living wage, which enable local employees to put food on the table and a roof over their heads, is a moral imperative.
Because Virginia’s local communities are not currently allowed to raise their local minimum wage laws, VICPP’s private certification programs recognize local employers who pay all employees a “living wage.” A living wage is defined as the minimum wage a worker must earn to pay for basic necessities, including food and housing, without assistance from others.
Wage theft is the illegal underpayment or nonpayment of a worker’s wages. Low-income workers are often the victims of wage theft, making it doubly hard to buy food and pay the rent. Wage theft happens in a variety of ways, including illegal deductions, not paying minimum wage, not paying overtime, giving workers paychecks that bounce, stealing workers’ tips, and misclassification. National studies indicate that one out of four low-wage workers is not being paid the minimum wage and three-fourths of low-wage workers who work more than 40 hours a week are not being paid all their overtime premiums. Several hundred thousand workers are probably being cheated of wages by unethical employers not paying minimum wage or overtime.