MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A number of Minnesota senators are responding to a recent article that claimed 40 workers have accused the Wilf family of wage theft in excess of $100,000.
The Minnesota Reformer reported that the workers were involved in the Vikings Lakes project, the Eagan-based complex housing the Vikings’ headquarters and training facilities.
“It appears that worker abuse has occurred right in our backyard, in Eagan, on a luxurious athletic facility that has been subsidized by the taxpayers. These workers need to be supported, they need to be believed, and the Wilf family needs to correct the wrongs they have suffered,” Sen. Matt Klein (DFL-Mendota Heights) said. “There is no excuse for treating working people like this in our state. Despite our work to address wage theft, it’s clear that it remains a serious issue for workers who are mistreated and exploited. We are much better than that, and we must do more to support our workers.”
Legislation passed in 2019 making it a felony to steal anything over $1,000 in wages, with potential prison time. The Senate DFL said that enforcement of that law has been difficult due to a lack of resources.
The Minnesota Reformer reports that so far, no one has ever been charged under that law.
“The treatment of workers involved in the Viking Lakes project is stunning and unacceptable. I commend the bravery of the dozens of workers who have stepped forward to report over $100,000 in wage theft. The scope of their allegations indicates that wage theft is not only a regular occurrence on these projects but a part of the subcontractors’ business models,” Sen. Bobby Joe Champion (DFL-Minneapolis) said.