Wage theft within the construction industry is a major problem for employees, homeowners and the taxpayers. The workers suffer directly, often being shorted for weeks of work or overtime. On many residential home construction projects, the quality of the homes being built is compromised, as workers are rushed, forced to work ever faster and finish more work in less time to avoid being fired.
The study further identifies the lack of effective enforcement by regulatory agencies, which are designed to monitor "regular" employers, who in the post-WWII work environment, more or less complied with wage and hour laws, and required little resources to regulate.
A new study of wage theft in the construction industry in Massachusetts describes the practice as being at "epidemic levels." The construction industry has been at the center this growing problem. If it can reach epidemic levels in a labor-friendly state like Massachusetts, it is likely that it will continue to grow as a problem in other states like New York.
Is it better to have a job than to have no job? Seemingly a no-brainer, most everyone would accept that having a job is better than being unemployed. But in some lines of work, the difference may be rather marginal.
Say, you work at a job that requires that you be on your feet most, or all, of the day. Now, let's say you are a woman, and you have become pregnant. As your pregnancy progresses, you become tired more easily from standing and you need to visit the restroom more frequently.
Last time, we were looking at a recent case from the Second Circuit that involved a security guard who had filed a claim for unpaid wages and retaliation under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). A lower court had allowed is unpaid wage claim, but dismissed his retaliation claim because he had made an oral complaint to his supervisor and not written complaint to a governmental agency.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) governs much of the employment rights of workers in the U.S. As the name implies, the FLSA sets many standards for employers, including wage and hour laws. To ensure these laws can be enforced, the FLSA has anti-retaliation provisions, to prevent employers from firing employees who complain about violations of the FLSA.
Some workers receive more respect than others. When some workers die in the line of duty, they are lauded with many displays of respect. When police officers have been shot there often are elaborate memorial services; they are called "Hero," and frequently long parades of other law enforcement personnel demonstrate their respect. They may even have public buildings named in their honor.