Posted October 20, 2015

Low-wage workers in Pennsylvania lose millions due to wage theft

Hands pull a dollar bill from opposite ends
iStock images
A new report from Temple's Sheller Center for Social Justice exposes millions of dollars in losses due to wage theft in Pennsylvania.

Wage theft has resulted in the loss of millions of dollars for workers, law-abiding businesses and the economy of Pennsylvania. That’s according to the findings of a recent report issued by the Stephen and Sandra Sheller Center for Social Justice in the Temple University Beasley School of Law.

The full report, Shortchanged: How Wage Theft Harms Pennsylvania’s Workers and Economy, was researched and written by Temple law students in the Sheller Center’s Social Justice Lawyering Clinic. It outlines the prevalence of compensation violations across various low-wage occupations—such as home healthcare and childcare workers, cashiers and grounds workers—throughout the state.

According to the report, hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvania workers lose millions of dollars in wages each week due to illegal practices undertaken by their employers. And, the findings show, compensation fraud does not only directly affect workers; it also has an impact on law-abiding businesses, the government and the economy: As a result of wage fraud, workers have less money to spend, income tax revenue is reduced and law-abiding businesses are placed at a competitive disadvantage.

View the “Shortchanged” infographic

The Sheller Center for Social Justice supports social justice advocacy efforts throughout Philadelphia and Pennsylvania. Temple law students and faculty work in conjunction with community groups, the regional and national legal communities, and Temple schools, colleges and departments to advocate for underserved populations.

—Erica Brooke Fajge

Related stories:

Temple Law, Fox School of Business shine in national and global rankings

Law School Dean Jo Anne Epps named chair of police oversight board

Law School receives $1.5 million gift to establish social justice center