Here is an interesting article in the Christian Science Monitor reporting that the attorneys general in many states are starting to more actively pursue wage violations by employers. Accoring to the article, enforcement is on the rise because authorities believe the infractions are growing as the economy becomes more service-oriented - and are showing up in new industries.Not surprisingly, businesses consider the setting of a wage floor nothing more than government meddling that increases their costs, particularly for small businesses."We see it as the government arbitrarily determining a wage issue, and we believe that is better left to market forces," says Marc Freedman, director of labor-law policy at the US Chamber of Commerce. "What we see is that it's routinely used as an introductory or training wage. People who start don't stay there long. They're quickly promoted." Yeah right.That is a gutsy argument for the Chamber to make given the abundant evidence that the gap between the rich and the poor in this country is increasing at an alarming rate. "A recent front-page article in The Los Angeles Times showed that teenagers are faring poorly in a tight job market because of the fierce competition they're getting from older workers and immigrants for entry-level positions.
On the same day, in the business section, the paper reported that the chief executives at California's largest 100 companies took home a collective $1.1 billion in 2004, an increase of nearly 20 percent over the previous year. The paper contrasted that with the 2.9 percent raise that the average California worker saw last year." See Full Article