Do you know about the conditions the workers of unwanted and underpaying jobs are in? Every year, numerous workers face laborious working conditions and workplace violence. The Cornell University’s Industrial and Labor Relations(ILR) School defines workplace violence as “a social phenomenon of a certain magnitude”(Physical and Psychological Violence in the Workplace). Regulations should be implemented to provide physical, emotional, or financial support for underpaid workers. Nadeau and Glasmeier define the living wage as “an approximate income needed to meet a family’s basic needs”.
A living wage is supposed to be enough for a family to survive on yet this is not the case for most American families. Nadeau and Glasmeier have found that the average family of four consisting of two working parents and two children would need to work 77 hours a week per working adult to earn a living wage. This is even harsher for a single parent supporting two children as they would have to work 139 hours per week. This is the equivalent of three and one half full time jobs. With so much pressure on their shoulders, many adults often turn to public assistance programs and services just to meet their basic needs(Minimum Wage: Can an Individual or a Family Live on It?)
Low wage workers are being underpaid for the jobs they do. One cause for this is that employers are stealing massive amounts of money from their employees’ paychecks and are committing minimum wage violations. According to a study by the Economic Policy Institute had found that employers from the 10 most populated states are stealing over $8 billion dollars from 2. 4 million minimum wage workers and is leading to wage theft. Wage theft,defined by the U. S. Congress as “when an employer does not pay an employee for work that the employee has performed, depriving the worker of wages and earnings to which the worker is legally entitled. ”,is causing workers to lose almost a quarter of their weekly paycheck. Strengthening the current laws on wage theft and increasing the penalties for wage violators would give workers a more sustainable income. Without a stable income, millions of workers fall under the poverty line. This massive drop into poverty has been a topic of controversy for decades. Earning more money would allow the workers to spend more, thus stimulating the economy.
Not only do workers have financial difficulties, they are also struggling with their own emotions. If underpaid workers are given support, it would make them think positively about the working environment and could potentially work better. Based on a study by the Social Market Foundation has found that happy employees are up to 20% more productive than unhappy employees (Happiness and productivity: Understanding the happy-productive worker). Another study by Bright Horizons found that 89% of employees with high levels of well-being report high job satisfaction and nearly two-thirds of those employees reported consistently putting in extra effort in work. Being happy has also been shown to raise a company’s stock prices. It gives the worker a more positive and concrete look on their workplace. If you come into work knowing it will cause you distress, you will start to have a negative outlook on the working environment. This could lead to decreased productivity, stress, and behavioral changes that could affect other employees. There are many others causes of stress in the workplace,many of which are not related to your mentality. The (HELP) identifies some of these causes as heavy workloads, tight deadlines, harassment, and long hours. Low wage workers are working more and more and getting paid less and less. A September Gallup survey of 1,200 workers reported that Americans were on the job 46. 7 hours per week — nearly an extra full day each week, and the highest number since 2002. (CAN’T FIND AUTHOR) The increasing amount of hours worked is because of an increase in demand for a product or service. As a result, employers have to assign more work to their employee which leads to feeling overworked.
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