Boston, MA – In a press release sent to WSBS from Community Labor United, hundreds of protesters marched on Beacon Hill yesterday demanding wage theft legislation to be passed before the end of the session. Today, the Massachusetts Senate unanimously passed S.2546, a bill tailored to curb the epidemic of wage theft occurring across the Commonwealth.

The bill gives the attorney general's office more legal tools to hold employers accountable, including the ability for victims of wage theft victims to bring cases to court for civil damages and to issue "stop work orders" until an employer corrects its wage theft violations.

“We are thrilled the Senate has taken a stand with Massachusetts working-class families by passing this long overdue bill,” said Darlene Lombos, Executive Director of Community Labor United. “We are confident the House will also show the same leadership and get this legislation to the Governor before the end of the session. With each day that passes, we see another 1,000 victims getting their wages stolen by their employers, so inaction just can’t be an option anymore.”

Last week, advocates launched a sweeping ad campaign featuring real-life victims of wage theft urging lawmakers to take action. The campaign blanketed the capital and key districts across the Commonwealth with billboards, tv, radio, video and digital ads spanning Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, MASSterList, and more.

"In 30 years working with victims of wage theft, I've seen firsthand how wage theft robs workers of what they've rightfully earned," said Gladys Vega, Executive Director of community organization and worker center Chelsea Collaborative. "We heard their very stories on the steps of the State House yesterday. At its core, wage theft targets our most vulnerable workers: immigrants, communities of color, and the poor. This epidemic will continue to plague our state if it's not considered in our economic future."

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(press release sent to WSBS from Community Labor United for online and on-air use, image taken from Community Labor United's Facebook page