Hillsborough passes wage recovery ordinance

Kevin Beckner

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Hillsborough County now has a way to help employees who are getting short-changed by their bosses; the County Commission unanimously passed a “wage recovery ordinance” Wednesday morning to resolve disputes when a worker claims wage theft.

During public comment, Tampa resident Mike Reedy told commissioners the ordinance would help keep disputes over wage theft by workers like him out of court.

Hillsborough’s wage recovery ordinance relies on mediation before disputes go before a judge. Jeanette Smith is the executive director for South Florida Interfaith Worker Justice. She’s also the coordinator for the Florida Wage Theft Task Force and says that’s a good model.

Commissioner Kevin Beckner sponsored the ordinance.

Hillsborough County’s wage recovery ordinance passed 5-0. Commissioners Ken Hagan and Al Higginbotham are away at a trade meeting in Toronto.

Video of public comment:

Video of commission discussion:

Full interview with Jeanette Smith, executive director for South Florida Interfaith Worker Justice: