Bill could fund more wage theft investigators in Iowa

After the second legislative funnel, there are some good bills that die and some that stay alive, keeping our legislative priorities at the forefront.

One such bill is Senate File 430, which is an appropriations bill that would give funding to hire two more full-time wage claim investigators in Iowa.

CCI Action Fund members are excited about SF 430 because one of our biggest legislative priorities has been cracking down on wage theft in Iowa. We pushed for anti wage theft bills House File 38 and Senate File 191, which unfortunately did not survive the funnel. But we had also pushed hard for more resources to hire more wage investigators in Iowa, and a section of SF 430 does just that.

A section of SF 430 would allocate enough funds for Iowa Workforce Development to hire two more full-time wage claim investigators.

This would mean a lot in matters of wage and labor law enforcement, because right now, Iowa only has one wage claim investigator. With additional staff at Iowa Workforce Development focused on putting people first, Iowa’s workers will be able to keep stepping out of the shadows, demanding their wages and pushing the state to act quicker on collecting wages lost due to wage theft.

Iowa’s workers miss out on $600 million in wages due to wage theft each year, while the state misses out on $60 million in revenue. Low wage workers and immigrants are most affected by wage theft, but the effect is multiplied across our communities as wage theft keeps money out of our small businesses and under funds our public services.

If Iowa had more wage claim investigators that could enforce our labor laws, as well as an organized workforce that isn’t afraid to speak up for their rights, like CCI Action Fund members do, Iowa would be well on its way towards true worker justice.

We will continue monitoring SF 430 and working to make sure that Iowa’s workers will have capable staff at their state agencies to protect and enforce their rights.

Click here to read more the Des Moines Register’s story detailing all parts of SF 430.

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