When Jeanette Smith, a Florida resident, found out that Macy's was lobbying the state legislature to ban local laws that help employees report wage theft and collect pay she was outraged--Jeanette's husband battled employers for years who refused to pay him for work he had done.
She started a petition and soon more than 7,000 people signed. Employees around the country heard about Macy's actions and were likewise outraged--staging petition deliveries and protests all over Florida and in Wisconsin, Maine, and Minnesota. One group even held a flash-mob mic-check inside a Macy's store.
The pressure got to be too much--even a board chairman of Macy's in Cincinnati signed the petition. The Florida state legislature decided not to bring the controversial bill to a vote. And when the Florida Retail Federation, of which Macy's is a member, sued local government to get rid of local wage theft protections, it lost.
"Communities around the country have been looking at Miami-Dade's Wage Theft Ordinance as a model for their own worker protections, so we knew that what happened here would have a national effect," said Jeanette Smith. "It was incredible to watch so many people, including Macy's employees, push back against the company and stand up for their rights. The chairman of the Macy's Board of Directors in Cincinnati even signed the petition! I hope Macy's continues to listen to its customers and employees and never again lobbies to get rid of local wage theft laws."