Investigating Wage Theft: A Survey of the States
November 11, 2010
Most states have laws requiring that workers are paid the wages they earn and that they are paid a minimum wage, as well as overtime for hours worked beyond a specific amount. They also protect against exploitation of child labor. Policy Matters Ohio conducted a nationwide survey of state enforcement of these laws during the summer and early fall of 2010. We asked state agencies how many investigators they had for enforcement of minimum wage, wage payment, overtime and child labor laws. Altogether, 43 states and the District of Columbia provided some answers to our survey. Together, they employ just 659.5 investigators. As a rough gauge, that works out to more than 146,000 workers per investigator, since there are nearly 100 million private-sector employees in these states.