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Austin City Council passes wage theft protection ordinance

The ordinance includes three elements that aim to protect workers and help them get full payment for the work that they do.

AUSTIN, Texas — On Thursday, the Austin City Council voted on a way to protect laborers.

The council unanimously passed an ordinance that it says will help prevent wage theft.

According to the Workers Defense Project, the ordinance will create a wage theft coordinator position to assist workers that come forward with reports of wage theft violations. The council said this will help make sure workers get full payment for the work that they do.

The ordinance will also create a publicly available database of employers that have a record of wage theft doing business with the City of Austin. It will also bar any employer identified in the database from entering into contracts with the City.

The Austin Monitor reports that the City does not have the authority to prosecute wage theft violators. That responsibility lies with the state and local governments.

Employers who are proven to have committed wage theft can be fined and even sentenced to jail time.

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