“Wage theft, employee misclassification, tax and insurance fraud are all still far too common in the industry in Rhode Island and across the country. While unionized contractors can be found to break the law as well as open shop contractors, the collective bargaining agreements in place give workers the ability to assert their rights and get remedy of grievances” said Raul Figueroa of Fuerza Laboral.
In September 2015 open shop contractor Cardoso Construction came to settlement around wage theft to pay more than $730,000 in back wages, interest and penalties under a settlement agreement with the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training (DLT)’s Workplace Fraud Unit.
Rhode Island’s Underground Economy and Misclassification Task Force reported in 2016 that “the Division of Taxation found that 673 employees had been improperly classified as independent contractors instead of employees in 2015, ordering the offending companies to pay more than $220,000 in taxes.”
Rhode Island’s Underground Economy and Misclassification Task Force reported in 2017 that “six construction companies entered into settlement agreements with DLT where they admitted to misclassifying 33 workers on four separate construction projects ”and that “The Division of Taxation found that 590 RI employees had been improperly classified in 2016, resulting in almost $5.6 million in unreported wages and an assessment of $200,988 in additional state taxes.”