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Measure To Prevent Wage Theft Introduced To Phila. City Council

By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Philadelphia City Council has passed a bill that would require public places with single occupancy rest rooms to make them gender neutral.

The bill is intended to ease the discomfort of transgendered people, but sponsors say it will also eliminate needless lines at restrooms designated for a specific gender.

Council will also consider taking up the cause of workers who are cheated out of wages. A bill introduced today would create a "wage theft coordinator" in city government.



Councilman Bill Greenlee introduced the bill after a Temple University study found that thousands of low-wage workers, each week, are shortchanged.

"It could be flat out just not getting paid on their hourly basis, it could be skimming of tips, it could be not paying overtime. It just seems that the city should take some responsibility for helping these people."

The bill would give the coordinator the power to investigate complaints, even subpoena records, then determine an employer's liability and order compensation.

The bill also provides penalties for wage theft violations. Greenlee says he hopes the bill will be, in part, preventive.

"Once the word gets out that the city is paying attention to this, employers will be more careful."

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