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Back and forth over wage theft ordinance issue continues

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The Alachua County Wage Theft Task Force held a press conference Thursday to urge State Sen. Rob Bradley to reconsider sponsoring a bill which would block all anti-wage theft ordinances, including those for Alachua County.

An employee who isn’t being paid for the work they’ve done is a victim of wage theft, and one working after clocking out or working on days off without pay also qualifies.

This issue is one that affects many workers, including some in Alachua County. Recently, the Alachua County Commission passed an ordinance that protects wage theft victims.

Bradley is working to pass a bill in the Senate which would overturn this.

Senate Bill 1216 would not only remove these ordinances, but would also prevent future ones from being created. Jeremiah Tattersall, a representative for the Alachua County Wage Theft Task Force, said passing a bill like this moves the county backward.

Tattersall, who spoke with Bradley, said he thinks the senator is doing everything he can to ensure the bill, which has to go through two committee meetings in the next week, passes.

Alachua County is the third county in Florida to pass wage recovery ordinances, behind Miami-Dade and Broward counties.

Tattersall said 40 activists from numerous organizations throughout the state including clergy, local business owners and victims of wage theft are gathering in Tallahassee to fight the bill. He said calls to Bradley’s office — about 60 a day — mostly go unanswered.

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