Construction workers face potentially life-threatening hazards every day. But there’s another we don’t see that can be just as crippling in that industry: wage theft.
Here’s Five Fast Facts on Our Construction Wage Theft Problem
- 🚫🚫What is it? - Wage theft comes in many forms: paying less than minimum wage, not paying overtime, requiring work off the clock or even payroll fraud. It affects many different jobs, but the construction industry gets hit hardest.
- 👷👷How Many? - A recent study shows that 14,500 (10%) of Wisconsin construction workers are deliberately misclassified as “independent contractors” or paid under the table. They each earn 31% less (about $23,500 a year) than other workers in combined wages and benefits. That’s the price of a decent used car!
- 💰⏫How Much? This type of fraud has led 39% of construction workers to enroll their families in one or more public safety net programs (think Medicaid or SNAP) at a cost of almost $28 billion a year.
- 💸👪What it Costs You - Each misclassified worker costs the state and the federal government $3000 a year. You’re ponying up to cover what their employers aren’t
- ✍📓What Can Be Done?- Gov. Evers put together a task force and they’ve recently compiled a report that suggests an investigation unit, stiffer penalties and updated statutes.
🔥Bottom line: The construction industry won’t change on its own. If lawmakers were to take up some of the mentioned legislation in the next session (instead of fighting like Packers and Ravens fans in Baltimore last year) it could kick loose an avalanche of change.
What do you think of wage theft in Wisconsin? Let us know by connecting with us on Social Media and be sure to share this newsletter with any friends & coworkers!
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