LANSING — House and Senate Democrats unveiled a plan today to crack down on companies committing payroll fraud, increasing penalties for bad actors while strengthening oversight to protect businesses playing by the rules. Unscrupulous companies stole an estimated $429 million in wages and overtime pay from hardworking Michiganders between 2013 and 2015, impacting more than 2.8 million people. In addition to the impact on individual workers, payroll fraud costs Michigan taxpayers $107 million a year in tax revenue. In response, state Rep. Rachel Hood (D-Grand Rapids), whose House Bill 4871 would create penalties for businesses prohibiting employees from discussing their wages, issued the following statement:

“Silence and secrecy has allowed extreme pay inequality to persist in our state and around our country for decades. It’s time to bring employee wages out of the shadows and crack down on employers trying to maintain this status quo. Every Michigander deserves equal pay for equal work and this is one step we can take right now to create that reality.”