Northampton passes resolution to protect wages of all employees

Report: Wage theft cost Massachusetts workers nearly $700M annually

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – In a packed room Thursday night, the Northampton City Council voted unanimously to pass the Fair Employment Resolution. The resolution protects worker wages, especially immigrant workers.

UMass Labor Center report released last year found that 65% of Northampton workers who worked more than 40 hours a week, did not receive overtime pay. This resolution would hold employers accountable; any employer caught not paying full wages will face punitive damages, and possibly not have their business license renewed.

Related: Dozens rally in Northampton for the Fair Employment Resolution

Northampton City Councilor Maureen Carney told 22News, “We look to the license board and the community preservation commission to adopt policies for applicants to certify wage compliance.”

Jonathan Jenner of Northampton said, “Bosses have power over workers, generally, and that’s compounded by language issues, and further compounded by the threat of using immigration to try to tear your family apart.”

A recent report found that wage theft cost Massachusetts workers nearly $700-million annually.

Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz also signed two executive orders Thursday night to assure that businesses comply. The Mayor said the city would only give city bids to companies that comply with the resolution.