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Across the U.S. restaurant workers are taking to the streets with increasing frequency to demand unpaid wages from their employers. Two-thirds of low wage workers report some form of wage theft every week—whether that means being cheated out of hours worked, paid less than the minimum wage or not being paid at all.
One study estimates that low wage workers—over 30 million Americans—lose 15% of their income each year, the restaurant industry being one of the worst offenders. According to the Department of Labor, 84 percent of sit-down restaurants inspected in the last three years were in violation of wage laws.
Meanwhile, in Washington, the food services industry is an organized and powerful opponent against increased minimum wage and workplace protections, spending millions of dollars each year to lobby against regulations and increased wages.
Fault Lines travels to Miami, Chicago, and Washington D.C. to speak with restaurant workers, hear their grievances and find out what recourse they have when they are not paid what they are owed.
Original air date: October 4, 2013
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