WASHINGTON, June 5, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new report by Good Jobs First finds that many large corporations operating in the United States have boosted their profits by forcing employees to work off the clock, cheating them out of required overtime pay and engaging in similar practices that together are known as wage theft.
An analysis of federal and state records shows that the corporations have paid out $8.8 billion to resolve more than 1,000 wage theft class action lawsuits since 2000. Walmart, long associated with such practices, has paid the most, but the list of the most-penalized employers also includes Bank of America, Wells Fargo and other large banks and insurance companies as well as major technology and healthcare corporations. Many of the large corporations are repeat offenders; 450 firms have each paid out $1 million or more in settlements and/or judgments.
These are among the findings in Grand Theft Paycheck: The Large Corporations Shortchanging Their Workers' Wages published today by the Corporate Research Project of Good Jobs First and Jobs With Justice Education Fund. It is available at goodjobsfirst.org/wagetheft.
"Our findings make it clear that wage theft goes far beyond sweatshops, fast-food outlets and retailers. It is built into the business model of a substantial portion of Corporate America," said Good Jobs First Research Director Philip Mattera, lead author of the report.
Among the dozen most-penalized corporations, Walmart, with $1.4 billion, is the only retailer. Second is FedEx with $502 million. Half of the top dozen are banks and insurance companies, including Bank of America ($381 million); Wells Fargo ($205 million); JPMorgan Chase ($160 million); and State Farm Insurance ($140 million).
Retailing is the industry with the highest aggregate penalties ($2.7 billion), followed by financial services ($1.4 billion); freight and logistics ($828 million); business services ($611 million); and insurance ($557 million).
"While wage theft is pervasive, it is also preventable," said Jobs With Justice Education Fund Senior Policy Analyst Adam Shah, who contributed a chapter on policy recommendations for the report.
Along with more than 300,000 other regulatory penalties, the data used in the report can be viewed and downloaded from the Corporate Research Project's ViolationTracker.org, the nation's first comprehensive database on corporate misconduct.
SOURCE Good Jobs First