WICHITA | Experts say the poor economy has led to an increase in employers cheating workers out of pay and benefits.
The problem is called "wage theft" and was the subject of a meeting Saturday in Wichita.
State and federal labor officials and a half-dozen legislators were among the participants.
Kansas Labor Secretary Jim Garner told the group that his office collects more than $1 million a year in wages that were wrongfully withheld from workers.
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He said he's seen a growing number of employers who illegally treat workers as independent contractors.
Such workers are denied employment benefits when they lose their jobs, and they don't qualify for worker compensation when they're injured on the job. He says the practice is unfair not only to workers but to businesses that play by the rules.