Addressing the Issue on Wage Theft: The Menace that Rampages the U.S. Construction Industry

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The issue of wage theft has been a pervasive problem that faces many construction workers in the United States every year. According to a 2014 report by the Economic Policy Institute, workers lose over $50bn a year to wage theft from employers. Wage theft includes tactics from stiffing workers on pay or failing to pay workers for overtime properly. It also entails minimum wage violations and misclassification of employees as independent contractors. Furthermore, not providing workers with mandated break times is also considered wage theft. There are numerous challenges that construction workers all over the U.S. face, such as working close to 60 hours a week and getting no overtime allowance. Construction workers are even forced by their employers to work for free on weekends to finish a project. The US regulators have taken a stand on cracking down on wage theft in the U.S. construction industry.

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The Measures Put Forth to Erode Wage Theft in the U.S Construction Industry

Employers are getting cheeky in evading to pay overtime and dues for the construction work done. Acts such as falsifying employment records to deprive workers of overtime pay and intimidating workers from speaking up about the practices are some of the tactics employed. Furthermore, forcing workers to volunteer to work on weekends without pay is also used as a tactic. The intimidation tactics used include threatening to call immigration services on workers and reducing workers’ hours and pay if they were suspected to be cooperating with the department’s investigation. A recent investigation by the Department of Labor recovered $47,393 in unpaid overtime wages for 21 workers in Utah. Last year, the department ordered Unforgettable Coatings and Cory Summerhays to pay 593 workers over $3.6m in stolen wages, damages, interest, and penalties. These are some of the measures that the Department of Labor is putting forth to address wage theft.Active with the Activists: Unions Accuse Contractor of Wage Theft In Manchester -

The Significance of Addressing the Menace in the U.S Construction Industry

The crackdown on wage theft in the U.S. construction industry is vital in ensuring that the rights of construction workers are respected. It also ensures that workers are paid for the full-time services they offer and overtime. It also ensured that these construction workers were classified correctly as employed contractors by their employers. Misclassifying construction workers as independent contractors provides a leeway for employers to refuse to pay overtime in some construction companies. It also ensures that construction workers are fully compensated for any wages that they were not paid. A recent investigation saw two immigrants receive a wage theft settlement of $34,000 from Fredericksburg Glass. Many may argue that the measures put forth are only the scratch of the surface but they are of immense significance.Wage Theft

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The Entities Involved in Addressing Wage Theft in the U.S Construction Industry

The department credits workers who speak up on wage theft and assist in the investigations despite the threats and intimidation they receive from their employers. Construction workers are also joining local unions to learn more about their rights. Organizations such as the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) are some of the unions taking a stand on wage theft. They work to organize other workers throughout the construction industry who are being subjected to systematic labor abuses and wage theft. These initiatives are critical in ensuring that the menace which is wage theft in the U.S construction industry is finally dealt with.

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