top of page

What is Wage Theft?

Wage theft refers to a category of workplace violations that result in employees not being fully or properly compensated for their services. This can include not paying overtime hours, withholding checks after termination, tax misclassification, and paying below minimum wage, amongst other methods. Wage theft affects workers in a variety of industries, though most commonly those that pay low wages and lack unions to enforce workers’ rights. Because of this, employees are usually left with few options for recourse. Often, speaking out or reporting violations will be met with retaliation from their employer and the threat of job loss. Populations victimized by wage theft often feel helpless and ignored not only in the workplace, but also in their greater community, and often withdraw from participating in local politics and organizations, discouraging entire populations from action. We spent several months with Arise Chicago, a workers’ rights advocacy organization on the city’s North side, getting to know the people who work there, the people who come there for help, and the stories on both sides.

Watch Our Show

Go to the Episodes page to watch all our episodes now.

You can also catch our show on PBS WTTW. See the schedule.


BQ NOW is a media channel that spreads ideas for change.


Our show, Big Questions, is an Emmy® Award Winning documentary television series that explores new ideas and projects that are changing the way the world works.

Follow BQ NOW
  • YouTube Social  Icon
  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Twitter Social Icon
Search By Tags
bottom of page