Fast Food Workers Speak Out About Wage Theft

Fast food workers strike in New York (Credit: Salon)

Workers in the service industry have taken action against their large employers, conducting walk out strikes in six cities, the latest on Tuesday in Washington, DC. Fast food workers are now also speaking out about the abuses they say they have experienced on the job.

A new Tumblr that started on May 14 called “fast food crime wave” depicts workers holding handwritten signs with messages about employer abuses. Common complaints include having to pay when the register is short, being denied overtime pay or working off the clock, and not being allowed to take any breaks. One woman pointed out that she doesn’t get a break even though she’s pregnant:

A man who appears to work at Domino’s says he’s only paid $5.65 an hour, below minimum wage:

Another says he has to pay for any food if he gets robbed:

Their stories match up with a new report that 84 percent of New York City fast food workers say they have been victims of wage theft or work hour abuse on the job. A larger study in 2009 found that of nearly 4,500 low-wage workers surveyed, two-thirds experienced at least one pay-related violation in the week before.

Wage and hour lawsuits against these kinds of abuses have also been on the rise for five years, increasing 10 percent this year.