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Jeremiah Tattersall speaks before the Alachua County Commissioners about wage theft.
On January 8th, 2013, Alex Cardelle, Jeremiah Tattersall and Diana Moreno, all members of the Alachua County Wage Theft Task Force, which is co-sponsored by the Alachua County Labor Party, spoke before the Alachua County Commissioners about wage theft and introducing a wage recovery ordinance for the county. Â The ordinance would provide an avenue for Alachua County residents to take their complaints about employers not paying them what is owed. Â Broward County and Miami-Dade County already have similar ordinances in place.
Over 40 citizens attended and filled the room to hear and participate in the two-hour discussion. Â Commissioner Chestnut expressed concern over what the ordinance would mean for small business owners, worrying that employees would abuse the ordinance and unjustly target employers for money. Â Representative Keith Perry, who attended only the public comment section of the discussion, agreed the ordinance would be a hardship on business owners and that business owners might even hire less workers than they could afford or need in fear of possible employee retaliation via the ordinance.
However, many citizens gave personal testimony to the fact that the ordinance would have given them a way to pursue justice and keep them from being in desperate situations. Â Because, as Commissioner Byler pointed out, simply having a law in place is not enough.
“Having a law and being able to receive justice under that law are two very different things, and that’s why we’re here tonight,” said Byerly.
Over 40 people showed up to hear the presentation by the Wage Theft Task Force before the Alachua County of Commissioners.
There will be a presentation to the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners tomorrow at 4:45pm by the Wage Theft Task Force to make the case for a county-wide Wage Recovery Ordinance.
The ordinance will protect employees from wage theft, the theft of earned wages by employers. This includes working off the clock, withholding tips or not receiving full paychecks. Wage theft not only affects hundreds of thousands of workers, particularly those in low-wage jobs, but it also undermines businesses that pay their employees fairly.
It’s important to have good attendance for the presentation to show that the community supports a county-wide Wage Recovery Ordinance. Also, after the 30-minute presentation there will be time for comments from the public.
Alachua County Board of County Commissioners
12 SE 1st St.
Gainesville, FL 32601
Tuesday, January 8th, 2013