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Wage Theft in America: Why Millions of Working Americans Are Not Getting Paid-And What We Can Do About It Paperback – December 9, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"I don't recall reading a more insightful book about this topic." —Daily Kos

"Argues perfectly for the importance of community allies in improving struggling workers’ lives." —Boston Review

"In this fascinating yet disturbing (and ultimately optimistic) book [Bobo] provides the reader with nothing less than the anatomy of an invisible epidemic." —The Black Commentator

"An enthralling book." —Robert Coles

About the Author

Kim Bobo is the founder and executive director of Interfaith Worker Justice, the nation’s largest faith-based network advocating justice in the workplace. She is the author of Wage Theft: Why Millions of Working Americans Are Not Getting Paid—And What We Can Do About It (The New Press) and Lives Matter: A Handbook for Christian Organizing and a co-author, with Jackie Kendall and Steve Max, of Organizing for Social Change, the most widely used manual on progressive activism in the country. She lives in Chicago, Illinois.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 314 pages
  • Publisher: The New Press (December 9, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595584455
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595584458
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,826,281 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kimberley A. Bobo is the founder and executive director of Interfaith Worker Justice and a columnist for Religion Dispatches (www.religiondispatches.org. She is the author of Lives Matter: A Handbook for Christian Organizing and the co-author (with Jackie Kendall and Steve Max) of Organizing for Social Change, the most widely used manual on progressive activism in the country. She lives in Chicago.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By K. Hulser on June 2, 2009
Format: Paperback
Ask your friends and family if they have been ripped off by an employer, or classified as an "independent contractor," or been paid straight time for overtime. It's hard to find someone who has not been cheated at work.
Kim Bobo's impressive and practical book targets the kind of crime that doesn't make the evening news leads, but affects millions. Wage theft -- paying below the minimum wage, cheating on hours, failing to contribute payroll taxes, skipping the last paycheck, and appropriating tips -- is a practice the government barely bothers to police. Bobo works with the Interfaith Worker Justice movement and tells dozens of excruciating tales of the common ways bosses steal free work time from employees.
Have your teen kids read it, because they will unfortunately probably soon encounter wage theft. Knowing your rights is just a first step. But as an activist writer, Bobo also makes a series of policy recommendations that are sound, doable and probably just the right prescription for Obama's new Sec. of Labor Hilda Solis. While the Feds get their act together on enforcing the wage and hours law, us mere mortals can spread the word about how this form of cheating is indeed theft, and quite illegal despite its low position on most District Attorneys to-do list.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Mcgrorty on September 1, 2009
Format: Paperback
Kim Bobo's book Wage Theft in America is an excellent if depressing book about the state of things in wage-earning America. Far from being a rare occurrence, theft of wages is commonplace these days, merely seen as a clever operating practice by companies small and large. Private firms know that enforcement is weak and that there are virtually no penalties for violating the law. The U.S. Department of Labor's wage enforcers are too few to have a significant impace on this situation, and the Congress apparently is satisfied to let this situation prevail. Kim Bobo asks only decency and honest dealings from employers. Her book deserves to be read by millions.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By R. Hulteen on March 15, 2009
Format: Paperback
I see books as resources, and this book on wage theft is quiet interesting. Bobo provides specific information about the issues at stake, in addition to relating compelling stories. Certainly, she has a perspective on the problem, one that is supportive of workers who are experiencing wage theft, but she is very up front about her perspective. It seems to be an honest and well-researched offering.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By R. A. Barricklow VINE VOICE on November 10, 2009
Format: Paperback
They plot injustice and say,
"We have devised a perfect plan!"
-Psalm 64:6

There is an unrefutable crime wave of employers across America stealing from their employees without remorse. Billions of dollars a year are being illegally stolen from the wages of their hard working honest employees.
Why? One, they can get away with it. Two, it's capatialism Wall Street style: GREED IS GOOD! Three, Scores of EXCELLENT Employers have been placed at a competitive disadvantage by their countless unscrupulous competitors, who consistently steal from their workers wages, and don't pay any taxes: federal, state, or local.
Isn't something being done? NO! Just as Wall Street steals Hundreds of Billions in the "little People's" taxes without fear/"Too Big To Fail" or Prosecute; the employers from small businesses to some of the nation's largest know the government's have too few investigators(In 1941 it was 1 investigator to 9,000 employers, today it is 1 to 170,000 employers & the disparity is growing!). The odds are better of lightning striking them. If lighting does stikes at all, their worst punishment is they must pay the workers what they are owed! But, if a workers steals from his or her employer, the worker faces SERIUOS consequences! It called capitalism Wall Steet style: he who has the gold makes the rules(Laws).
The author goes into detail how this has come about. She goes into the history of labor and its hard fought and won battles over the past decades, and how workers are hanging on by the skin of their teeth just to run in place, trying not to lose any more the U.S. worker's rights than they've already lost.
There are many examples of the differents methods used by employers to steal wages. These are then poignantly personified and examined.
Read more ›
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Lupita Aguila on January 7, 2009
Format: Paperback
Wage theft is a major issue in this country. I'm glad someone, especially someone like Kim Bobo, has finally produced something that will further educate people on the unjust treatment of workers across the nation. The book provides detailed accounts and statistics on this issue. It's a book that will change the labor movement forever, needless to say I highly recommend it on all levels.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on October 13, 2009
Format: Paperback
A major portion of one's life is spent working, but there are those who would deny compensation for that labor. "Wage Theft in America: Why Millions of Working Americans Are Not Getting Paid - And What We Can Do About It" tells the story about a lesser known crisis in modern America where people are being paid less than minimum wage, and being forced to work unpaid overtime. Kim Bobo encourages readers to help stand against such practices where employers exploit their employees to make themselves richer. "Wage Theft in America" addresses this issue and offers many solutions.
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