Macy's—Stop Supporting Wage Theft
  • Petitioned Paul Imbrone

This petition was delivered to:

Paul Imbrone
Florida Retail Federation
FRF exec committee (publix)
William Crenshaw
Macy's public relations
Jim Sluzewski
Macy's VP Public Relations Southeast
Melissa Goff
FRF Exec Committee (Office Depot)
Steve Hennes

Macy's—Stop Supporting Wage Theft

    1. Jeanette Smith
    2. Petition by

      Jeanette Smith

      Miami, FL

March 2012


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." 


Wage theft is the nonpayment or underpayment of wages earned by an employee and is epidemic throughout the United States, but particularly in Florida due to the large number of low-wage, service sector jobs. Retail is one of the top industries for wage theft in the state, and, as a Florida resident, I watched my husband and many of my friends struggle to get paid for the work they do.

In response, communities in Florida have stood up for employees and passed local ordinances that make it easier for individuals to hold employers accountable when they refuse to pay their workers.

But all that could change if retailers like Macy’s who are part of the Florida Retail Federation successfully lobby state legislators to pass laws that would ban local communities from passing local ordinances to protect workers.

Macy’s should listen to its customers and support an end to wage theft.

Tell Macy’s to stand up for its workers and customers by publicly stating the company opposes laws like FL SB 862 and HB 609.


Recent signatures


    1. Reached 7,000 signatures
    2. Press Conference in front of Macy's FL Headquarters on Monday @ 1 pm

      Jeanette Smith
      Petition Organizer

      22 East Flagler Street if you want to join us

      And if you're from another part of FL or the country and would like to deliver a copy of the petition to your local Macy's next week, let us know and we can help you out with it. We have a template press release you can tailor for local use. Wage Theft isn't okay in Florida! And it's not okay where you live either!

      Palm Beach & Broward County folks are doing actions on Monday also so let us know if you'd like to be plugged in to those actions.

    3. Reached 1,000 signatures
    4. House voted to overturn local wage theft ordinances today

      Jeanette Smith
      Petition Organizer

      Still alive in the Senate -- keep signing, keep sharing -- Let Macy's know that this is NOT OKAY -- Macy's may support Wage Theft but we don't.

    5. Reached 750 signatures
    6. The House vote could be as early as Wednesday

      Jeanette Smith
      Petition Organizer

      Bill has been rolled over for third and final reading on the House Floor

    7. If you only call two people today, make it to these two

      Jeanette Smith
      Petition Organizer

      Ask them to vote NO on HB 609

      Dean Cannon, House Speaker
      850-488-2742 Tallahassee Office
      407-623-5740 District Office

      Carlos Lopez-Cantera, House Majority Leader
      850-488-4202 Tallahassee Office
      305-442-6877 District Office

    8. HB 609 will be heard for a Second Reading on the House Floor on Tuesday

      Jeanette Smith
      Petition Organizer

      Keep signing and sharing with others so that Macy's, Publix and Office Depot feel the pressure. And call your representative and tell him/her that you want them to say no to Wage Theft! Let them hear you loud and clear.

    9. Reached 500 signatures
    10. We're targeting in on a few key members of the FRF.

      Jeanette Smith
      Petition Organizer

      Copies of all emails will continue to go to Macy's (chairs the board of the FRF), Publix (a board member of the FRF & a prime mover behind the FRF decision to pursue this issue), and Office Depot (both a board member of the FRF & an organization headquartered in Palm Beach County that has been fighting against PB attempts to also get a Wage Theft ordinance to protect PB workers).

    11. HB 609 Passed House Judiciary Committee Yesterday

      Jeanette Smith
      Petition Organizer

      An amendment was added that makes the bill even worse than it was. As amended, the bill puts Wage Theft complaints into an overworked court system, bans trials by jury and class-action suits, and limits workers’ claims to the back pay owed to them. Miami-Dade County’s program that the FRF wants to stop and prevent other counties from duplicating has no filing fees, makes it easier for workers to file complaints without counsel, allows for employees of the same employer to file complaints together, and allows for damages against employers found to have committed Wage Theft.

      Bottom line, yesterday's vote make it easier and more cost-effective for employers to commit Wage Theft -- tell the FRF No -- Wage Theft is Not Okay!

    12. Reached 250 signatures
    13. HB 609 in House Judiciary Wed // Keep sharing link to petition

      Jeanette Smith
      Petition Organizer

      Continuing to let the Macy's, Office Depot, Publix, & other FRF members khow how we feel about them making it easier for businesses to commit Wage Theft could pressure them to withdraw support for these destructive bills. Tell your local store managers how you feel about their stores being on the board of an organization that supports Wage Theft. To flyer local stores or get more involved, please contact Jeanette at Feel free to also call your state legislators and tell them how you feel -- say it with me, "Wage Theft is wrong!"

    14. Reached 100 signatures


    Reasons for signing

      • over 2 years ago

      I'm a newspress carrier who is regularly underpayed and/or not payed on time. I often get deductions on my check for supplies I've never received or hundreds of dollars of "miscalculations" and there is no recourse for me. I would love to see a wage theft ordinance come to Lee county but I'm not going to hold my breath.

    • Kim Diaz ST. PETERSBURG, FL
      • over 2 years ago

      It's time for corporatiions to pay their fair share not steal from their workers too.

    • Cecilia Millan HIALEAH, FL
      • over 2 years ago

      My mother was the recalled commisioner who put that ordinance onto the dade county books. Wait until I tell her what is happening. She has a Macys card as well. Dont let them undo all the victories that she has done for the working class people. I am so signing this!

    • LuAnn Swartzlander GLENVIEW, IL
      • over 2 years ago

      Refusing to support wage theft is an honorable act that lives up to Macy's tradition.

    • doris catauro NSB, FL
      • over 2 years ago

      because this worker should pe paid for his time


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