Mayor Walsh Issues Wage Theft Executive Order
October 24, 2014
Yesterday, Mayor Martin J. Walsh signed an Executive Order establishing payment certification requirements for vendors with city contracts. The measure seeks to prevent wage theft, which is the improper withholding of payment from employees and the failure to pay employees according to required schedules. Wage theft harms the well-being of workers and their families. Low income, immigrant, hospitality, service industry, and limited English proficiency workers are most vulnerable to this practice.
"It’s illegal to deny fairly earned wages," said Mayor Walsh. "This executive order empowers workers to demand what they have worked for. I’m committed to stopping violations and holding employers to the letter of the law."
Under the Executive Order vendors who have a contract with the City of Boston will be required to certify their compliance with federal and state wage law with the City, or if the vendors have previous violations, disclose them, and provide a wage bond for the duration of the contract. These measures strengthen the City’s ability to hire vendors that treat their employees fairly.
"There are too many stories of workers being exploited, especially in our immigrant communities. Mayor Walsh's executive order adds important protections for working families in Boston," said Michelle Wu, Boston City Councilor At-Large. "We applaud Mayor Walsh for taking this important step to address the wage theft crisis and tacking wage inequity head-on," said Richard M. Rogers, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Greater Boston Labor Council, AFL-CIO.
The Executive Order also prohibits City departments from contracting with debarred vendors for the period of their debarment. This will help to ensure that City resources are not used to support those vendors debarred for wage law violations.
In addition, this allows the Boston Licensing Board to take into consideration whether a licensee has been found to have violated state fair labor laws or the Fair Labor Standards Act, as the Board is determining whether to re-issue, modify, suspend, or revoke a license. Licensees that are subject to debarment for violating these laws, or that have been prohibited from contracting with the Commonwealth, will also be prohibited from holding licenses issued by the Boston Licensing Board for the same time period.
The Executive Order is effective for any request for proposals, invitation for bids or request for qualifications all bids as of January 1, 2015.