Iowa [Legislators] say wage theft bill would curtail fraud

Posted: Wednesday, January 28, 2015 7:57 am

DES MOINES (AP) – A bill introduced in the Senate would curtail wage theft in Iowa by requiring businesses to be more direct with workers about employment terms, Democrats said Tuesday.

Sen. Bill Dotzler, a Democrat from Waterloo, is co-sponsor of a measure that would require employers to share a written record of employment terms with an employee at the start of a job. Such an agreement would help the worker if there’s suspicion of wage theft in the future and the worker needs to file a formal complaint, Dotzler said.

“This legislation is common sense,” Dotzler said.

The bill would also define penalty terms and expand protection for whistleblowers. It’s identical to a bill that was introduced last session, according to Dotzler. That bill didn’t get very far, but he said he is hopeful a new legislature would seriously consider the latest measure.

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D.C.’s New Wage Theft Law Imposes Additional Notice, Posting and Recordkeeping Requirements on Employers

Friday, January 23, 2015

Last October, we reported on D.C.’s soon-to-be-enacted D.C. Wage Theft Prevention Amendment Act. This Act, which amends several existing D.C. wage and hour laws, includes new notice requirements and retaliation protections, increases employer liability for wage and hour violations and introduces a new administrative hearing process – all changes that employers with D.C.-based employees need to be aware of.

The Act becomes effective on February 26, 2015.  Previously, the Act was slated to go into effect on January 14, 2015, but an emergency amendment pushed back that date.  There is a chance it is pushed back again and we will update this post accordingly if that happens.  An overview of the key provisions follows below.

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Local Company Pockets Worker’s Wages, Tax Dollars, Whistleblowers say

Monday, October 27, 2014
Cornelius Swart, GoLocal PDX Director of Content


A local janitorial company that has worked on publicly-funded projects has been shortchanging its workers and pocketing their wages, according to the claims of whistleblowers.

Wage theft complaints against Cornerstone Janitorial Service of Hillsboro have been filed in Oregon and Washington and whistleblowers allege that the company hires undocumented immigrants and takes taxpayer-funded wages that rightfully belong to workers.

In response, Cornerstone tells GoLocalPDX it only hires legal residents and pays the proper wages.

But an investigation by GoLocalPDX has found that in some cases workers are only paid $12 an hour on jobs that should have been compensated at an hourly rate of $36.

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Conn. Contractor Cited by US Labor Department’s OSHA for Wall Collapse, Fall Hazards at Construction Work Site

IRVINE – An Irvine construction company owner and his foreman pleaded not guilty Monday after authorities charged that they committed multiple acts of payroll fraud.
Mustafa Mohamed Bdaiwi, 41, of Irvine and Antonio Naranjo Jr., 40, of Costa Mesa have been charged with 11 counts of taking a portion of a employee’s wages, two felony counts of recording false or forged documents and sentencing enhancements for property loss more than $150,000, according to court records.
Bdaiwi, who owns Malcon Civils Inc., was awarded a contract from the city of Irvine to build a wall at an elementary school in late 2010, prosecutors said. Authorities said around the same time the company was also awarded a project by the city of Hemet.During these two projects, which took place from January to August 2011, Bdaiwi and Naranjo are accused of requiring workers to return a portion of their wages. Naranjo is suspected of threatening to fire the workers who did not comply, prosecutors said.

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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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Prevailing Wage Whistleblower Protection Bill Vetoed by New Mexico’s Governor

A bill that sought to protect the identities of those who blew the whistle on employers who did not pay the public works minimum wage was vetoed by Gov. Susana Martinez on Monday.

“The bill’s overly broad mandate to protect the identity of prevailing wage complainants ignores the realities of prevailing wage investigation and prosecution,” Martinez said in her veto message.

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