OP-ED: Stop Wage Theft in Berkeley


By Harry Brill


On Oct. 1, the Berkeley minimum wage increased to $11 an hour. But unfortunately, for the majority of

workers the raise is fictional.


The City of Berkeley has notified the business community, and Berkeley businesses are supposed to post




the wage increase in a place that is conspicuous and accessible to their workers.


But so far, most minimum wage workers are not being informed. Notices are not being posted and nor are

employees notified in any other way. In other words, large numbers of businesses are breaking the law.


The Berkeley City Council has failed to approve a budget that would provide a larger staff — there is only

one staff member now — to assure that the law is enforced.


It hasn’t because the majority on the Council favor the interests of business even though many employers

are ignoring a wage law that was passed by the City Council.


There is only one option left for progressives. We have to take on the task of assuring that workers don’t

suffer from wage theft. Wage theft is a serious problem in California. It costs workers $1.2 billion every



On the other hand, it is a winnable issue but only if many of you are willing to help. We got small business

size cards that provide workers with what they need to know. I am requesting that you take 3-5 cards

(unless you want more) that you could give to a wait person at a restaurant, post on a bulletin board, or just

hand out a card to a worker in any business.


Please send me your mailing address and I’ll get a few cards to you.


Unless many of you are willing to join this wage campaign low wage workers will continue to be illegally

screwed. My email address is [email protected]


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