Last year, after 21 construction workers on site for five months at a new 79-unit apartment complex in downtown Berkeley were denied payments for five full months of work, local trade unions filed complaints with the state and local joint task forces. An investigation prompted the state labor commissioner to impose a contractor lien for $60,000, which was the outstanding balance of what workers were owed months later, long after the job ended.
That turned out to mean those workers were actually paid – albeit late – for the work they did. However, as Next City reports, that is pretty minuscule compared to the scope of the bigger issue, which is unscrupulous contractors committing California wage theft.
Construction workers in particular are the second-most vulnerable labor pool when it comes to wage theft violations in California, just behind restaurant workers. The problem is vastly under-reported. Only a fraction of wage theft violations result in claims and judgments and a smaller number of those judgments are actually paid. It’s important that attorneys taking on these cases first help victimized workers explore the viability of the claim before pursuing it. Continue Reading ›