Petition: Stop Wage Theft In Cleveland, Workers Deserve Their Full Paychecks

Cleveland City Council

Nearly a quarter-million workers in Ohio, many right here in Cleveland, are victims of wage theft, every year. On average, a victim loses $2,800 a year. Learn more here.

Although Ohio refuses to enact enhanced state-wide protections, Cleveland City Council can by supporting the Guardians for Fair Work wage theft policy.

Demand respect and fairness for Cleveland workers. Sign the petition to stop wage theft now.

To: Cleveland City Council
From: [Your Name]

Yes, wage theft is illegal. Unfortunately, the lack of effective enforcement costs American workers some $15 billion each year. To provide context for this eye-popping sum: it exceeds all losses from property crimes. But it’s not just workers that lose from wage theft. Cleveland’s budget is starved of critical tax revenue while the most responsible businesses are undercut by competitors that openly flout the law.

Despite the massive impact wage theft has across our state, Ohio only has five (5) investigators and a single supervisor tackling enforcement. Consider this:

Wage theft harms Clevelanders. According to the Economic Policy Institute, some 217,000 Ohioans are victims of wage theft from just minimum wage non-payment each year. The typical victim loses $2,800 in a work year. The damage inflicted on these workers and their families is hard to overstate.

Wage theft costs tax revenue. According to the Ohio Attorney General, as many as 459,000 Ohio workers may be misclassified each year, costing the state $180 million in foregone income taxes, and $790 million with combined unemployment compensation payments and workers’ compensation premiums.

Wage theft has an outsized impact on low-wage workers in Cleveland. The ranks of low-wage workers in Cleveland are disproportionately people of color. We can and must do better.

Guardians for Fair Work is asking that the City of Cleveland demonstrate the same urgency and commitment to Clevelands’ workers as was on display with the speedy passage of the $117 million subsidies for the Progressive Field renovation.

Cities in Ohio – and all across the country – are playing a leading role in combating wage theft by passing municipal ordinances.

Please heed the call by Guardians for Fair Work and support a wage theft prevention policy in 2022.