Alachua County Commission Advances Wage Theft Ordinance
Published January 8th, 2013
GAINESVILLE - Alachua County is now one step closer to adopting a wage theft ordinance, which would make it easier for employees to recover any pay that has been illegally withheld from them by their employer.
This ordinance would provide employees with a local authority to which they can appeal, instead of contacting the Feds. While members of the Alachua County Wage Theft Task Force say this ordinance would provide more protection for employees, some small business owners worry it would only add another load onto the backs of small businesses.
"We have federal laws that are enforced by an agency who's underfunded and understaffed," said Jeremiah Tattersall, a member of the Wage Theft Task Force. "We have state laws that don't actually exist. We have no state department of labor," he said.
But state representative Keith Perry, a small business owner himself, disagrees. While he says the proposed ordinance has good intentions, Perry says it will add another burden on small business owners. "We're already going through hard times. Most of the people around here are struggling. We don't need to put another burden on the backs of businesses," said Perry.
Only two other counties in the state of Florida have a wage theft ordinance: Miami-Dade and Broward Counties.
Meantime, the Alachua County Commission approved discussing the proposal further at a later meeting. Commissioner Susan Baird was the only dissenting vote.
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