September 11, 2014
By Neal Tepel
New York NY – The McClatchy Media News Network recently published an interesting and important investigative report that very effectively uncovers the dark, seamy side of the U.S. construction industry; The articles vividly described the practice of "employee misclassification."
Here's how McClatchy describes the series, entitled "Contract to Cheat":
"Across the country, roughly 10 million construction workers spend each day in a dangerous and fickle industry. They hang drywall, lay carpet, shingle roofs. Yet in the eyes of their bosses, they aren't employees due the benefits the government requires.
Employers treat many of these laborers as independent contractors. It's a tactic that costs taxpayers billions of dollars each year. Yet when it comes to public projects, government regulators have done nearly nothing about it, even when the proof is easy to get.
The workers don't have protections. The companies don't withhold taxes. The regulators don't seem to care."
McClatchy reporters in eight newsrooms and seven states spent a year unraveling the scheme, using little-noticed payroll records that show how widespread the practice has become and what it costs us all."
We must continue to highlight the practice of employee misclassification. Many legislators and government officials remain oblivious to this employer strategy that costs workers and municipalities billions in wages and lost revenues.