Employers risk little by stealing employee wages
Wage theft is illegal in Iowa, but Iowa leaders prefer to be soft on this crime. In an update to Common Good Iowa's 2022 wage theft report, new CGI analysis, confirmed by Iowa Workforce Development, shows that since 2017, the state has received more than 2,400 wage theft claims, but charged ZERO DOLLARS in civil penalties against offending employers.
The worst that happens to an employer who steals wages from employees is having to pay back what they stolen. That’s not even a slap on the wrist. By comparison, a worker who steals from their employer faces criminal penalties, including fines and jail time.
The message to Iowa employers is clear: Cheat your workers all you like — the state won’t stop you. Gov. Reynolds has the power to direct Iowa Workforce Development to charge offenders and defend all workers being cheated. She should do so without delay.