Stolen Wages

Stolen Wages

For many Washington workers hoping to recover a few thousand dollars or less in wages, their best alternative is often to file a complaint with the Department of Labor & Industries. But justice is often neither swift nor certain. Labor & Industries has just 16 investigators to pursue up to 4,000 cases per year. The complaints include alleged minimum wage violations and outright refusal to pay for work done.

Read our related article, "Washington, Seattle Struggle to Help Workers Collect Millions in Stolen Wages"

Millions of dollars at stake

Since 2009, Labor & Industries has collected more than $11.6 million in unpaid wages for workers in Washington. Yet that's only a little more than half the total wages the state has declared workers are owed: Nearly $10 million in unpaid wages remain uncollected, even as the average wait for a worker to recover the pay due has shortened to just over the state-mandated 60 days.

Hover over each bar to see how major industries in Washington state measure up in total upaid wages and how much the state has collected.