LAW & PUBLIC SAFETY

State agencies help workers fight wage theft, know their rights

BY Michael Hill, Correspondent |

For many New Jersey workers, wage theft, discrimination, sexual misconduct and more are all-too-common workplace realities. That’s why the Department of Community Affairs and the Attorney General’s office are equipping workers with knowledge of their rights through a series of wage theft clinics across the state.

The target audience of one clinic in Atlantic City was immigrant communities, who are especially fearful about “… coming forward to the department to express their rights,” according to NJ Department of Labor & Workforce Development Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo, who spoke to attendees in Spanish.

The Hispanic Association of Atlantic County encouraged the state to hold the clinic, and it reached out to Latinx workers, but only a handful came.

“Obviously, to come out to settings like this, maybe the fear is too great for them to come out,” said Bert Lopez, the association’s president.

Those that did come got a step-by-step lesson in filing a complaint with the state department and some advice about proving wage theft.