Wage theft watchdogs

Shortchanged: An in-depth look at wage theft

APRIL 19, 2016

The Fair Contracting Foundation of Minnesota is one of the Twin Cities’ leading organizations in the fight against wage theft.

The foundation is one of just a few dozen organizations across the country that focus on wage theft in the public sector construction industry, and the only one in Minnesota. Created in 2011, the nonprofit labor management committee employees three investigative attorneys who pursue complaints and cases of wage theft, from local contactors not paying prevailing wages to employees misclassified as independent contractors, in all levels of government across the state.

We spoke with Mike Wilde, the foundation’s executive director, to talk about FCF’s work and wage theft.

Q: Why was the foundation created?

Mike Wilde: The FCF was created as a program sponsored by the [Minnesota Building and Construction Trades Council] to address some of the wage theft and unlawful practices in the publicly funded construction industry. The [council] had seen many laws go unenforced for a long time and they wanted to make sure all the contractors that were bidding on public work were adhering to the law. And so they created the Fair Contracting Foundation, the very first for the state.

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