“Hillary: ‘I Am Going To Make Some Employers Go to Jail'”

“I’m going to make sure that some employers go to jail for wage theft and all the other abuses that they engage in,” said unpaid-intern-using presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton at a Labor Day rally in Illinois. [Tom S. Elliott, National Review] The elastic epithet “wage theft” has been used to describe employer practices ranging from permitting employees to send work-related email after hours to failing to anticipate claims that employees who applied for and happily worked at fixed-salary jobs should instead have been classified as hourly and paid overtime.


  • Wage theft?

    But Hillary isn’t talking about reducing my taxes.

    What a shock.

  • Guessing not employers donating to her campaign

  • Wage theft is a real thing. When business owners do not pay their employees and then transfer their assets to other entities, employees are left without recourse. Yes, where there is real wage theft, employers should go to jail.

    I agree that technical violations of the law might not warrant jail time. But there is outright theft going on and it should be punished like theft.

    It is an unfortunate elastic definition, as Mr. Olson points out. However, I would think that he would agree that employers who promise to pay money to their employees and then do not (despite having the money to do so) are in the wrong and should be in jeopardy of criminal sanctions.

  • Of course there are cases where employers (often of the fly-by-night sort) defraud workers of promised pay. The whole point of the “wage theft” epithet in use lately — indeed, I would go so far as to say its purpose — is to blur the lines between those cases (which the law has long, and rightly, treated with severity) and the countless disputes that arise under laws like the Fair Labor Standards Act over employee classification, portal-to-portal compensation, internships, donning and doffing time, after-hours work email, and other issues in which employees accepted a certain compensation deal and employers delivered on it as promised, but it is argued after the fact that a different deal should have been offered to comply with the law.

    It is a bait and switch tactic and there is no reason we should let it pass.

    • I wholeheartedly concur. I wonder which “thieves” Mrs. Clinton is suggesting she will go after. It would be nice if she would give some examples where wage theft was proven in a civil action, but there was not a criminal prosecution.

      • I think WRT has it figured out. Classic “protection” racket.

  • I’ll put $20 on Hilary being in jail before any of these “employers”.

    As far as defining these “employers”, I’ll take a guess that they will be the ones that her Union contributors tell her to go after.

    We used to have a great thing going where I work, until government regulations ruined it. We didn’t have vacation, sick time or overtime. We worked hours based on our project due dates. There were times that we would do 36 hours straight. There were times that I’d have my phone, while fishing, keeping tabs on my e-mail. I’d ask my boss for 5 or 6 days off to take a trip, no problem, just check e-mail around 10 AM in case somebody needed a question answered. My pay was deposited in my bank account every other Friday like clockwork.

    Now I’m hourly, with specified vacation, overtime, no sick time and have to punch in and out on site. Over all I actually make less money, have less time off and have more expenses commuting. How did the government keep me from getting ripped off???

    • “How did the government keep me from getting ripped off???”

      The government’s goal wasn’t to keep you from getting ripped off. The goal was to make sure that they were the ones ripping you off.

  • I have more often seen wage theft from the other side, as in many, many employees guilty of what I would call Grand Theft Paycheck. I am betting HRC is less interested in seeing them terminated, much less bringing them to justice,

  • I like how the ohio employer blog defends wage theft with

    Employer aren’t intentionally stealing; they just don’t know any better.

    I guess he’s never heard “ignorance of the law is not a defense.”

    Yes, these employers, with large HR and compliance staffs, didn’t know any better. OK.

    • “ignorance of the law is not a defense.”’

      Unless you are a cop, then it is a defense.

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