Opinion: Justice of Jesus demands fair wages for a fair living

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Op-ed by the North Carolina Council of Churches takes Cherie Berry to task

Following the recent News & Observer investigation which found the North Carolina Department of Labor and its commissioner, Cherie Berry, “the reluctant regulator”, let deadbeat employers get away with stealing $1 million from their workers in 2014 alone, the executive director at the North Carolina Council of Churches, Jennifer Copeland, responded with a powerful op-ed calling on Berry “to enforce the laws of North Carolina” because “That’s her job.”

Workers deserve basic protections and the opportunity to earn a fair living, yet the N.C. Department of Labor is failing to enforce the laws providing these basic protections.

Jesus would know what every Christian and Jewish person today also knows: God has specific imperatives about paying people when they work (Deut 24:14-15). The directive to pay people on time – especially the poor, whose lives more readily depend on regular income than do their employer’s – is lodged in a long list of social safety nets decreed by God.

The labor laws of North Carolina do not demand the kind of justice Jesus advocates – that employers provide fair wages that enable fair living. But our laws do offer basic economic protection, including the requirement that workers should be paid for the hours they work.

Read more: Justice of Jesus demands fair wages for a fair living | News & Observer