Labor law violations alleged at new Holiday Inn Express; lien seeks more than $247,600 in unpaid wages

The California Labor Commission on Monday filed a lien on the Holiday Inn Express property in Eureka with the Humboldt County Recorder’s Office to recover more than $247,600 in unpaid wages for 31 construction workers.

PacWest Contracting, the subcontractor hired by Jansen Construction to build the hotel, allegedly misclassified employees as independent contractors to pay them less, California Department of Industrial Relations spokesman Peter Melton said.

Austin Council Standing Up For Prevailing Wages

 J.W. Marriot developer, White Lodging, is in hot water for breaking a City of Austin contract by underpaying workers.The company received $3.8 million in tax breaks. Now council is giving them two options, pay the lost wages or pay back the city millions.Workers Defense Project spokesperson Patricia Zavala says they blew the whistle on the company. City auditors checked the numbers and found at least 13 employees were underpaid. Then the city ordered the developer to pay back the laborers in February, and then it was extended in March, then June.

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Tempe floor contractor forced to pay $100k in back wages

Tempe-based Flooring Demolition Specialists LLC has paid $103,554 in back wages and liquidated damages to 24 employees.

An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found that the Tempe floor removal contractor willfully violated the overtime and record-keeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The investigation by the division’s Phoenix District Office disclosed that a certain group of employees was paid straight time for all hours worked and did not receive an overtime premium for hours worked beyond 40 per week, as required by FLSA. The Tempe company also failed to pay employees for hours worked while loading company trucks and for travel time to job sites.

Mark Breslin: CEOs and business leaders for prevailing wage

By Mark Breslin

Editor’s Note: Senate Bill 7 is co-authored by Sen. Anthony Cannella, R-Ceres, but opposed by leaders of the charter cities in his district, including Modesto and Merced. It was passed by the Senate 28-10 in late May. Last week it was approved by the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee and now it is now in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.As the CEO of United Contractors, I represent hundreds of bottom line, hard-nosed, results-oriented, and fiscally conservative business leaders and CEOs. We support paying prevailing wages because we know what we are getting for our money. Specifically, we know that we are getting highly talented professionals who will get the job done on time and on budget.

At the same time, we are proud that we are creating local jobs – all while modernizing and expanding California’s infrastructure.

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American Waste Services workers locked in ‘wage-theft’ conflict

By KAREN LEE ZINER

Journal Staff Writer

PROVIDENCE – For six years, Enrique Sarceno worked on a garbage truck, emptying 30-gallon barrels on a municipal route in Franklin, Mass. At day’s end, Sarceno would strip off his rank-smelling clothes and head for the shower.

He thought the money was good – $17 an hour. But when the former American Waste Services company, in Raynham, hired him, Sarceno knew nothing of the Massachusetts prevailing wage law under which he would have been paid at least $5 more per hour.

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PHA Launches Improved Pre-Apprenticeship Program for Residents

Graduates will become full-time PHA employees

Philadelphia, PA – August 13, 2013 – (RealEstateRama) – The Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) has launched a revamped Pre-Apprenticeship Program for its residents. This comprehensive job training course teaches participants skills in maintenance and repairs. Upon completion of the program, graduates will become full-time PHA employees.

PHA’s President & CEO Kelvin A. Jeremiah, who committed to having PHA residents make up 25 percent of the agency’s workforce, called the relaunch a major step forward, and a great effort to better position PHA residents for sustainable employment.

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Misclassification of workers: a costly issue

Misclassification of workers as independent contractors remains a top employment law problem area, frequently resulting in fines, orders for back wage payments, penalties and an array of headaches for unsuspecting employers. Proper classification of workers can be difficult for several reasons:

 

  • There is no singular definition of employee or independent contractor under federal or state law.
  • An agreement between an employer and a worker that the worker is an independent contractor may have little, and in some instances, no legal significance. Independent contractor is a legal status determined by factors that go beyond the employer’s and employee’s desire to contract for work on a certain basis. Written agreements can be quite helpful, but are not dispositive.
  • Both federal and state policy has been trending towards classifying workers as employees due to perceived governmental and individual worker benefits from employee payroll withholding, workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance.
  • The relationship between employer and worker frequently evolves over time, and even a well-intentioned employer can find that a worker once properly classified as an independent contractor has now become misclassified.

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Three Recent Polls Show Strong Support for Prevailing Wage Policies

SACRAMENTO, Calif. /California Newswire/ – According to Smart Cities Prevail, three recent polls conducted in California show broad support for prevailing wage policies on both the state and local level. Prevailing wages help create a stable middle class in local communities, strengthening neighborhoods and allowing people to invest in their towns – but they are frequently opposed by out of town special interest groups looking to profit at taxpayer expense.

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In clash with Bloomberg, Quinn vows to appeal ‘prevailing wage’ law court ruling

Saying this was only a “minor setback,” City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and other members vowed Tuesday they would appeal a court ruling that struck down the “prevailing wage” law.

“Make no mistake, we will appeal and we will be victorious in our efforts,” Quinn said surrounded by members of Local 32BJ SEIU, which represents property service workers in the city.

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