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Minimum wage violations cost American workers $15 billion a year

Employers who refuse to pay overtime or misclassify workers as exempt from minimum wage rules underpay workers by an estimated $15 billion a year, according to a study conducted by the Economic Policy Institute. The EPI evaluated the 10 most populous states in the U.S., and found 2.4 million workers affected in those states alone. Minimum wage violations cost those workers an average of about $64 a week — almost a quarter of weekly earnings.

Extrapolated over the entire country, the estimated $15 billion in losses is more than the value of all the property stolen in the U.S. during robberies, burglaries, and auto thefts in a typical year.