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New York City’s Fast Food Worker Empowerment Bill, passed this Spring, will allow workers
in the fast food industry to build, through voluntary nancial contributions deducted from
their paychecks, a strong organization through which they can enforce workplace laws in the
violation-prone fast food industry.
Despite these advances, we need more proactive investigations of high-risk industries, better
tools to go after law-breaking employers, and more resources to inform workers of their
rights and help them pursue justice.
That’s why the Center for Popular Democracy supports organizations and worker-leaders
across the country in standing up for workers and immigrants. As part of that effort, we have
created a toolkit to help organizations join the ght against wage theft and hold companies
The toolkit, called “A Practical Guide to Combating Wage Theft: Lessons from the Field,”
offers a framework for developing winning worker-led campaigns. Drawing lessons from
victories around the country, the Guide includes tips for building strong and diverse
coalitions, enacting wage theft legislation at the city and state level, and developing a
powerful communications strategy that names and shames bad actors.  
We hope the toolkit inspires worker advocates to take bold action -- like directly confronting
employers that cheat workers; and to demand innovative policy solutions -- such as
deputizing employees to le suit to recover penalties, to supplement the government’s
limited enforcement resources.
By following some of the strategies outlined in our toolkit, we can ght back against rampant
wage theft and allow our immigrant workers to feel safe in their jobs and communities.

Rachel Deutsch is Senior Attorney for Worker Justice at the Center for Popular Democracy.

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