Two local lawmakers are hoping to push a bill in Little Rock this session that would help put an end to wage theft in the workplace.
It's fight that began in 2008.
"Let's say if I were to call the police because I haven't been paid a months worth of wages the police can't report it as a crime, it's not considered a crime," says Ana Aguayo with the NWA Workers Justice Center.
The problem? Wage theft. Something these advocates see everyday at the workers justice center in Springdale.
"Our phones are ringing constantly. Wage theft, the amount of cases that we get are about 80% the amount of cases that we take on," says Aguayo.
And the group has taken to state congress.
"In 2011, we became aware of the situation and the legislation has been fine tuned and more employers have had input on it and I think it's something you'll likely see in the 2013 session," says Republican State Representative Jon Woods.
Woods and fellow State Representative Greg Leding are pushing a new bill that could crack down on the problem.
"Employers should not be able to keep the amount of money you worked hard for," says Woods.
"This legislation sets a time where they need to be paid pretty quick within a few weeks of termination," says Woods.
But it also outlines stipulations for any money owed to the employee and if passed, the bill could change lives.
"Wage theft affects everyone. It doesn't matter gender age race. We have had students going to college working for a restaurant and the restaurant hasn't paid them," says Aguayo.
Politicians on both sides of the arena agree something needs to be done, Democratic Representative Greg Leding told us,"Wage theft happens everyday in Arkansas, often putting working Arkansans at risk of being unable to pay their rent, make a car payment, or put food on the table. We hope to pass legislation that will put an end to wage theft in our state."
"This bill actually does represent the demographics of Arkansas workers. People who are doing honest work trying to live day to day through the paycheck that they get and through their sponsorship it could mean that the bill has a chance to survive this legislative session," says Aguayo.
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