Last week I went to a press conference where the National Employment Law Project (NELP) released a new study about labor law violations in New York City. The report, Working Without Laws, is based on a survey of nearly 1,500 low-wage workers. I’ve put a link to the report below, but here are some of most notable findings:
– One in five workers were paid less than the minimum wage
– More than two-thirds of the workers who were owed meal breaks were not given them as required by law
– More than three out of every four workers due overtime wages did not receive them
– Bosses will do whatever they can get away with, and many ought to be tossed behind bars
Okay, that last point wasn’t in the report, but it’s what I was thinking as I read through it. You can find it at:
Reading through it also caused me to flash back to my time working in Manhattan’s Flower District. Lack of meal breaks, unpaid overtime, sub-minimum wages: the storefront where I worked had it all. The Brooklyn Rail, one of my favorite magazines, just published an excerpt of Working in the Shadows that covers my time at that job. If you’re interested, I’ve linked the article below.
“Little Shop of Horrors”: http://www.brooklynrail.org/2010/02/local/little-shop-of-horrors.