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  • Writer's pictureKatelyn Oldham

Multnomah County District Attorney announces he will prosecute intentional wage theft

Updated: Apr 29, 2022

Everyone deserves to be paid for their labor. Wage theft harms workers, their families and our community. Wage theft is the failure to pay some or all of an employees' wages owed. The right to earned wages are protected by state and federal law.

On April 29th, the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office announced an agreement with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) to prosecute intentional wage theft as a crime, in some cases. These prosecutions will go after repeated or egregious offenders.

BOLI is the first, and sometime only, recourse for workers seeking to enforce wage and hour laws and to be paid for their labor. Oregon's wage and hour statutes are enforced by BOLI but the agency is often overwhelmed by the volume of complaints and employees can face a backlog and slow recovery of needed income. Providing another tool to help workers - criminal prosecution - is a welcome development. Glad to see this development come out of DA Michael Schmidt and BOLI Commissioner Val Hoyle's efforts.

I am glad to see wage theft being treated as the crime it is in my community.

(pub. 4-29-22)

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