Wage Theft Is A Crime
POSTED: Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - 4:41pm
UPDATED: Thursday, November 17, 2011 - 3:22pm
EL PASO - When you work, you expect to be paid, but what happens when you aren't? It's a problem we see to many times here in El Paso, but now there's a solution.
A new law is standing up for people who work hard for their money, and often time end up stiffed by their employers.
"Every week we see dozens of cases coming into our office," Christopher Benoit said.
Unpaid workers turn to Benoit and the Paso Del Norte Civil Rights Project for help. He says the problem is so bad there are "close to a million dollars in unpaid wages, in under two years." That's in the Borderland alone, and it's probably because we have some vulnerable workers.
"Whether a person here is documented or undocumented, it is still a crime to not pay that person appropriate wages they are entitled to under the law," County Attorney JoAnn Bernal said.
She says the new law makes it easier to prosecute wage theft as a crime, and today local law enforcers made it clear; they will work together to investigate and prosecute wage theft cases in El Paso County.
"To those people who think that they can get work out of people and not pay them, we stand together and are committed to take appropriate action," El Paso County Sheriff Richard Wiles said, shortly before he was handed a folder with his first two cases.