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Wage Theft Is America’s Hidden Workplace Crisis—Misunderstood by Workers, Unreported by Victims, and Damaging to Emp

DALLAS , June 01 /Businesswire/ - Verfico, a leading provider of digital compliance solutions to prevent wage theft, today released findings from its 2023 Verfico Survey: Wage Theft in America. The nationwide survey exposes the shocking lack of public awareness about wage theft and its consequences for companies and employees.

Verfico surveyed 1,000 adults from across the United States to gauge their general understanding and awareness of wage theft. After respondents were provided a definition and examples of wage theft—such as misclassifying workers as independent contractors, paying less than the minimum wage, failing to pay overtime, and requiring off-the-clock work—they were asked about their personal experiences and opinions on potential solutions.

Key findings of the survey include:

  • Wage theft is misunderstood by workers. Only 20% of survey participants could accurately define wage theft as an employer withholding a portion of a worker’s rightfully earned pay. Notably, nearly half as many respondents—10%—mistakenly believed wage theft refers to situations where employees steal from their employers.
  • Wage theft is unreported by victims. According to the survey, 38% of Americans have personally experienced wage theft (18%) and/or know someone who has (27%). This number is even higher in the construction industry, with 2 out of 5 construction workers reporting personal experiences and/or knowing someone affected by wage theft. Of those who have experienced wage theft, 57% said they did not report it to authorities, and of those who did, 39% were left empty-handed. The two most common reasons for not reporting wage theft were lack of knowledge (28%) and fear of reprisals (31%).
  • Wage theft is damaging to employers. While some employers engage in wage theft knowingly, many others do not—particularly in the construction industry, where a contractor’s visibility into the labor practices of subcontractors has traditionally been limited. Either way, employers risk serious criminal and civil penalities—as well as reputational damage. Fully 72% of respondents said they worried that construction companies that committed wage theft would cut other corners as well.

“This survey underscores the critical need for greater awareness and understanding of wage theft, especially in industries like construction,” said Matthew DeSarno, CEO at Verfico. “By embracing the right combination of education, technology, and public policy solutions, we can empower both employers and employees to take a stand against wage theft, ultimately fostering a more just and equitable workplace for everyone.”

Visit the 2023 Verfico Survey: Wage Theft in America at Verfico’s website for the complete survey results.

About Verfico

Verfico is a leading provider of digital compliance solutions designed to address the pervasive problem of wage theft in various industries. With a mission to protect the hard-earned wages of American workers and safeguard the reputation of honest businesses, Verfico is committed to developing innovative solutions that empower employers and employees to create a more just and equitable workplace. To learn more about Verfico and its commitment to combating wage theft, visit

STORY TAGS: Survey, Texas, Technology, Automotive Manufacturing, Public Policy/Government, Manufacturing, Mobile/Wireless, Restaurant/Bar, Building Systems, Residential Building & Real Estate, Commercial Building & Real Estate, Construction & Property, Retail, Legal, Small Business, Human Resources, Urban Planning, Professional Services, Architecture, Software, White House/Federal Government, State/Local, United States, North America,


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