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Indiana Interim Study Committee Reviews Payroll Fraud Issue

  • admin
  • 09 September 2016

Yesterday the Indiana Interim Study Committee on Employment and Labor heard testimony from construction contractors on the issue of#payrollfraud. Contractors asked the Indiana Legislature to consider options to investigate and prosecute businesses who break the law and steal from taxpayers. Stay tuned for actions the legislature takes to stop cheating businesses from robbing taxpayers of $400 million/year and raising costs on law-abiding business.

2015 Omnibus Bill Includes Delay on ‘Cadillac Tax’ So Families with Healthcare in US are Protected for Now

  • admin
  • 09 September 2016

Members of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters (UBC) and participants in other employer sponsored health care plans in the U.S. can rest a little easier now that implementation of the “Cadillac tax” on those benefits has been delayed until 2020. This provision was included in the $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill that was signed into law by President Obama. The House of Representatives passed the bill on a 316-113 vote, while the U.S. Senate passed it 65-33.

 
It is hoped that this delay in implementing the Cadillac tax, which would impose a 40% excise tax on the portion of group health plan premiums that exceed $10,200 for single coverage and $27,500 for family coverage, will lead to a full repeal down the road.
 
“When people take a closer look at the so-called Cadillac tax, they see how unfair it is for employers and employees,” said UBC General President Douglas J. McCarron. “We have been working hard with law makers and this two-year delay helps us on our way to a full repeal.”
 
Read this article here.
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EXCLUSIVE: Attorney General’s office recovers nearly $5.7M in owed pay for New York low-wage workers

  • admin
  • 08 September 2016

ALBANY — State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office recovered nearly $5.7 million in owed pay and damages for more than 3,300 low-wage workers since last Labor Day, the Daily News has learned.

The recoveries are included in a third annual Labor Day report Schneiderman's office is set to release Monday.

The recovered wages by Schneiderman's Labor Bureau went to fast-food employees, home health aides, taxi drivers, restaurant employees and construction workers.

"As Attorney General, I remain steadfastly committed to ensuring that workers are paid for the work they do, that their pay lifts them out of poverty, and that undue obstacles aren't placed in their path to job security and economic advancement," Schneiderman said.

Read the full article here.

Ashland contractor cited $117K over police station project wages

  • admin
  • 25 August 2016

 

Ashland subcontractor On-Time Construction Services, Inc. and its owner Jonatas Vicente De Brito Barcelos have been cited $117,082 in restitution and penalties for intentionally violating the Massachusetts prevailing wage law and failing to submit true and accurate payroll records, Attorney General Maura Healey announced Monday.

The allegations stem from a project at the Acushnet Police Station for which On-Time was a subcontractor, according to a release from the AG's office that began an investigation last July into the situation.

The investigation revealed that at various times between March and August of last year, On-Time failed to pay three workers the correct prevailing wage rate, according to the AG's office. One worker was not paid any wages until after the investigation commenced. On-Time also certified on a weekly basis to the awarding authority that its workers were paid the prevailing wage rate even though they were not. Under the Massachusetts Prevailing Wage Law, contractors and subcontractors engaged in public construction projects must pay their employees a special minimum wage, according to the AG's office.

Since the investigation began, On-Time has paid $78,987 in restitution to the employees.

Click here for the full article. 

GETTING GOLDEN RECOGNITION

  • admin
  • 15 August 2016

 

Allan Bramlett was recently recognized with a gold card for 50 years of membership and service to the Brotherhood of Carpenters, Muncie Carpenters Local 1016. That service area includes Henry County.

Local Rep. Roy Loveless was in town recently to congratulate Bramlett on the milestone. The recognition was anything but routine for Loveless. "Allan's been a mentor to numerous people," said Loveless, adding that Bramlett got him his first job. "He gave me my start. I wouldn't be where I am today without him."

A New Castle resident since 2001, Bramlett continues to be involved in the community. He has an extensive list of memberships and service work in Delaware County in carpenters' related organizations as well as business and community organizations.

At 75, his Henry County involvements include Board member of the Henry County Visitors Bureau, board member of Henry County Economic Development Corp., Vice Chair of Henry County Democrat Central Committee and Treasurer of Henry County Democrat Club.

He was a journeyman carpenter with the United Brotherhood of Carpenters in the Muncie area from 1966-75; business representative of United Brotherhood of Carpenters, Eastern Indiana Area, from 1975-98; campaign manager for Congressional Candidate, District 2 Indiana from April through December of 1998; interim director of the Muncie Urban Enterprise Association from 1999-2003 and Building Trades Coordinator for B.E.S.T. through Ball State University, 1999-2003.

As business rep, he had more than 400 members. His task was to secure jobs for those in the nine counties he represented and to place carpenters and negotiate contracts.

"The fulfillment is securing decent working conditions and benefits for those people you represent," says Bramlett.

He says of his career, "It's been rewarding. I've made a good living, gotten along well with membership and people in general. It's rewarding to secure jobs for people."

When he hired in, Bramlett's hourly salary was $3.15 in 1966. In 1998 when he retired, a journeyman's wage was $19 an hour.

Bramlett is married to Betty J. Bramlett and they have four children, nine grandchildren and one great-grandchild. His wife is a Henry County native.

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Ludlow contractor fined for not paying employees prevailing wage

  • admin
  • 11 August 2016

By Published:   Updated: 

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LUDLOW, Mass. (WWLP) – Attorney General Maura Healey announced on Tuesday that a Ludlow contractor has agreed to pay more than $27,000 in restitution and penalties for violating the Massachusetts prevailing wage law.

SSR Construction, Inc. and its owner Peter Slivka accepted two civil citations and agreed to pay $27,387.20 in restitution and penalties to resolve allegations that they were not paying their workers the required prevailing wage rate and failed to submit true and accurate certified payroll records to the awarding authority on a weekly basis.

“Contractors working on public projects must pay their workers a fair wage,” said Attorney General Healey. “The prevailing wage law protects workers and we will continue to enforce the law and hold accountable companies who fail to adequately compensate their workers.”

The Attorney General’s Fair Labor Division started investigating Slivka and SSR Construction in January of 2014 after receiving a complaint that they were not paying their workers the required prevailing wage rate. During their investigation, they found that between September 4, 2013 and December 6, 2013 SSR Construction performed work on a project to renovate the City Hall in Westfield and failed to pay its workers the correct prevailing wage rate. It also didn’t submit true and accurate certified payroll records to the awarding authority on a weekly basis.

Through the settlement with the Attorney General’s Office, four employees will receive restitution payments.

Here are 100+ brands that are 100% made in the USA

  • admin
  • 09 August 2016

When you buy American, you help to keep local businesses strong and support domestic job growth at the same time. These 100+ brands and stores are 100% made in the USA.

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The Infection Control Risk Assessment (ICRA) program

  • admin
  • 01 August 2016

The Infection Control Risk Assessment (ICRA) program offers patient-focused training for Carpenters and various trades working in healthcare facilities and other occupied spaces. This specialized training helps prevent the spread of disease and infection during construction, ultimately keeping patients and staff safe.

City of Berkeley Enacts First of Its Kind Wage Theft Prevention Ordinance

  • admin
  • 21 July 2016

New Law Will Strengthen Wage Law Compliance on Large Construction Projects

BERKELEY, Calif. /California Newswire/ — Last night, the City of Berkeley approved a first-of-its-kind local ordinance aimed at preventing wage theft on local construction projects, Smart Cities Prevail announced today.

 

Authored by Councilmember Laurie Capitelli, co-sponsored by a majority of the Council and supported by construction industry trade associations and workers’ rights groups, the measure requires that developers and builders certify that all contractors performing work on large projects have complied with state wage and hour laws as a condition of winning a certificate of occupancy from the city.

Click to Read the Ordinance: http://www.stopwagetheftca.org/index.php/berkeleys-new-wage-theft-ordinance/.

“Enforcing wage laws is especially difficult in the construction industry, because unscrupulous contractors who cheat workers in order to win bids on large projects find ways of disappearing after the work is done,” said Smart Cities Prevail Policy Director Scott Littlehale. “By expanding transparency and accountability BEFORE a project is complete, Berkeley has taken an important step towards preventing wage theft and leveling the playing field for honest construction businesses competing for this work.”

“This measure links our city’s responsibility for determining whether a construction project is completed with the principle of ensuring those who did the work are paid the wages they earned,” added Berkeley City Council Member Laurie Capitelli. “Whether as workers, businesses or taxpayers, we are all impacted by wage theft in some way. But we are not powerless to stop it, and that’s why I hope that other communities will soon join Berkeley in taking action.”

Research shows that wage theft annually costs California taxpayers at least $8.5 billion in tax revenue, and costs workers billions more in lost income. Because state enforcement resources are limited, workers only file claims in a fraction of cases and less than 20 percent of adjudicated claims are ever paid. The problem is especially pervasive in lower wage occupations, including California’s construction industry.

Smart Cities Prevail is a leading construction industry research and advocacy organization. More information on us may be found at www.smartcitiesprevail.org, or on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/SmartCitiesPrevail/ and Twitter https://twitter.com/cacitiesprevail.

StopWageTheftCA.org is a project of Smart Cities Prevail.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Todd Stenhouse, (916) 397-1131, toddstenhouse@gmail.com

 

*Editorial Note: above text based on press release, as provided by the news source: Smart Cities Prevail and was not created by CaliforniaNewswire.com.

Weakening Prevailing Wage Hurts Local Contractors

  • dgarcia
  • 13 July 2016

A case study from Southern Indiana demonstrates how weakening prevailing wage negatively impacts local contractors and local workers.

Out-of-state contractors benefited after Indiana weakened its prevailing wage law, according to a new Economic Commentary from the Midwest Economic Policy Institute.

Despite an emerging academic consensus that shows state prevailing wage laws have no discernible impact on project costs, lawmakers in Indiana weakened the state’s law – called Common Construction Wage – between 2012 and 2015. In 2013, the threshold for coverage was increased from $250,000 to $350,000, meaning that workers were no longer paid a prevailing wage rate on projects costing between $250,000 and $349,999.

Prior to raising its contract threshold to $350,000, hourly earnings for construction workers in Indiana were similar to all neighboring states except Kentucky. Economic research suggests that out-of-state contractors with lower-paid workers will flood the public construction market after a prevailing wage law is weakened. If true, the greatest threat to Indiana contractors would come from across its southern border in Kentucky, where construction workers earned $5 less per hour on average in July 2012.

IN-KY change1

Indiana’s southern border with Kentucky is thus a good case study on the local impact of weakening prevailing wages. There are 13 southern Indiana counties that border 14 northern Kentucky counties.

After weakening prevailing wage, employment in the heavy and civil engineering sector declined in Indiana’s southern-most counties but grew across the river in Kentucky border counties. After the Common Construction Wage threshold was raised, southern Indiana’s public works construction sector had an employment loss of 885 workers (21.2 percent). Meanwhile, public works construction employment increased by 770 workers (20.7 percent) in the Kentucky border counties.

IN-KY change2

The average monthly earnings of employees in heavy and civil engineering construction careers also declined after prevailing wage was weakened in the Indiana counties but increased across the river in the Kentucky counties. After adjusting for inflation, the county-level earnings of public works construction employees declined by $439 per month for the average Hoosier worker. At the same time, average earnings increased by $610 per month for comparable workers across the border in the Kentucky counties.

IN-KY change3

In this integrated regional economy along the Ohio River, the evidence suggests that out-of-state contractors from Kentucky with lower-paid construction workers were the real beneficiaries of Indiana weakening its prevailing wage law.

After Indiana weakened its prevailing wage law, higher-paid public works construction workers in the state’s 13 southern-most counties were replaced by lower-paid workers across the border in 14 Kentucky counties. The redistribution of jobs and earnings to Kentucky construction workers has an adverse impact on income tax revenues and sales tax revenues in Indiana.

This case study should be a cautionary note to lawmakers in states across the Midwest who are considering weakening their state’s prevailing wage.Prevailing wage is a policy that promotes high-road economic and community development. Weakening prevailing wage only hurts local contractors and workers.

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