What is Wage Theft?
Every morning you rise before the sun, leaving your sleeping family. You spend your day doing valuable, back breaking work, literally building communities with your hands. Little league games, school recitals, breakfast with your family, these are real sacrifices every carpenter knows they will make. But too often they are victims of wage theft. Your contractor shouldn’t be the only one who profits from your skill and dedication. The United Brotherhood of Carpenters is fighting against wage theft and construction industry tax fraud. Get informed and join the fight to protect area standards, Stop Tax Fraud!
What is Wage Theft?
Wage theft happens when workers aren’t paid all or a part of the wages they earned. Another form of wage theft is not paying the legally mandated time-and-a-half overtime premium for hours worked in excess of 40 hours in a week. It is wage theft when any worker, no matter their immigration status, isn’t paid their complete wages. Often, wage theft is accompanied by tax and insurance fraud and other crimes.
Wage theft isn’t an accident, it is a business model. Contractors often use crooked subcontractors or labor brokers in order to shield themselves from liability for wage theft, but they can still be held responsible as joint employers. And workers aren’t the only ones who get hurt by it. Wage theft gives cheating contractors a leg up when bidding against law-abiding companies. This means that legitimate companies, and the construction workers they fairly employ, lose work.
How You Can Help
This doesn’t just affect a few people. Across all industries, workers and their families lose $8 billion a year to wage
theft. Construction workers in just six cities, Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, Houston, Miami and Nashville, had $30 million
of their wages stolen in one year.
- Support honest contractors and fair competition
- Hold corrupt contractors accountable for using
wage-stealing subcontractors and labor brokers
- Support law enforcement
- Talk to your colleagues about this problem