All Work and No Pay: Day laborers, wage theft and workplace justice in New Jersey

Immigrants' Rights/International Human Rights Clinic, School of Law, Seton Hall University
Date of Publication: 
January, 2011
Source Organization: 
Seton Hall University School of Law

Building on a 2010 study of day laborers in Newark, Seton Hall researchers have expanded the scope of the earlier study to examine the experience of 113 day laborers at pick-up sites in Elizabeth, Freehold, Morristown, Orange and Palisades Park. Over the course of a year, 54% of the workers statewide were paid less money than they were promised by at least one employer and 94% were never paid overtime if they worked more than 40 hours per week for the same employer. Twenty-six percent were assaulted on the job and 35% were abandoned at a work site. There were wide variations among communities in levels of noncompliance with labor laws. In general, communities like Elizabeth, without advocacy groups championing the interest of day laborers, had much higher violation rates. Despairing of any meaningful assistance from an understaffed and financially strapped NJ Department of Labor, the authors of the report propose a "more robust criminal wage theft statute" that would facilitate the filing and prosecution of complaints with local municipal courts. The report includes the text of a model statute.

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Immigrants' Rights/International Human Rights Clinic. (2011). All Work and No Pay: Day laborers, wage theft and workplace justice in New Jersey. Newark NJ: Seton Hall University.