Immigrants are most susceptible to worker misclassification

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From the Sacramento Bee — “A nationwide McClatchy investigation found that in Southern states such as North Carolina and Texas, where there’s a lack of unions and a supply of eager immigrants, like Barreda, as many as a third of construction workers have been wrongly classified as independent contractors instead of employees. The problem persists across the nation, though, from California to Washington, D.C., and each year the practice costs taxpayers billions of dollars while state and federal governments are desperate for any additional tax revenue.

But, as McClatchy found, misclassification breeds other schemes as company owners clamor for an advantage over competitors. Companies may dodge prevailing wages required by the Davis-Bacon Act, a 1930s-era law that mandates fair wages on federally backed projects. Workers are sometimes cheated on hours or overtime pay. They may be paid cash under the table, pushed into an underground economy. Some workers interviewed by McClatchy, like Barreda, complained of kickbacks, in which they had to return some of their wages to company bosses.

“Generally, violations do not occur in isolation,” said Julie Su, the California labor commissioner. “You uncover one violation and it’s often a doorway into multiple violations.”…”

Read the full story at Immigrants are most susceptible to worker misclassification.

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