Wage Theft Bills Introduced in Nebraska Legislature

Lincoln, Nebraska – Today, a bill that would defer and reprimand wage theft, the act of not paying employees and subcontractors for work completed, was introduced in the Nebraska Legislature. LB560, introduced by Senator Heath Mello of District 5, would do the following:

(1)   Expand record keeping requirements by employers.  Under the bill, they would be required to keep record of unlawful employment practices for at least five years.  Employers would also be required to provide 30 days notice for any changes in wages and a written statement of earnings and deductions at each payday;

(2)   Furnish whistleblower protections for employees, protecting them against retaliation and discrimination if they were to speak out against unfair wage practices or participate in an investigation;

(3)   Gives the Commissioner of Labor the power to subpoena records and witnesses related to wage theft;

(4)   Makes it a Class IV misdemeanor to violate this act, giving the power to prosecute these cases to County Attorneys

This bill provides further protections for workers and builds upon a bill by Senator Jim Smith of District 14 that was introduced earlier in the session.  Senator Smith’s bill allows the Commissioner of Labor to assess civil penalties and determine damages if the Wage Payment and Collection Act is violated.

“Today, we begin the process of creating a Nebraska that works for all,” stated Sergio Sosa, Executive Director of the Heartland Workers Center.  “While the bills would protect all workers against unscrupulous employers, they would also protect honest employers who play by the rules rather than cutting corners to make a profit.”