LANSING — House and Senate Democrats unveiled a plan August 29 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. Terry Sabo (D-Muskegon), whose House Bills 4868 and 4879 aim to increase criminal penalties for bad actors that commit payroll fraud and allow complaints to be anonymous, issued the following statement:

"Hardworking Michiganders should be paid for every hour they work, and any employer that cheats their employees needs to be held accountable. Failing to pay employees what they’re owed is theft, and criminal offenses must have criminal penalties. I am proud to stand with our state’s working families and will continue to work to ensure every hardworking Michigander can enjoy the freedom that comes with economic security.”