Wage theft in construction is a crime that is committed at the expense of the hard workers of this industry, and it’s a crime that often goes unnoticed. When wage theft is committed by a subcontractor, a general contractor may be held jointly responsible for the violation, which is why it’s important for general contractors to understand the law when it comes to unpaid wages. In this article, the Naples construction lawyers at Cotney Construction Law will describe wage theft and how general contractors can prevent it.
What is Wage Theft?
Wage theft is the withholding of earned payments to an employee, and it can take several forms in the construction industry. Overtime pay could be withheld or replaced by a smaller figure. The amount on a check could be less than what’s noted on the employee payroll. A subcontractor may even claim that a worker was never on a project even when there is documentation to the contrary.
The reason wage theft is so prevalent in construction is because it is one of the only places where a subcontractor can cut costs when submitting a bid. Supplies and equipment aren’t going to magically decrease in value. In this case, a subcontractor submits a lower bid and pays their employees less to compensate.
How to Prevent Wage Theft
It is the responsibility of the general contractor to investigate potential wage theft. If you suspect a subcontractor is committing wage theft, you can request their payroll records. Depending on your state, if the subcontractor refuses, you can withhold payment until the records are turned over. Additionally, you should verify that your contract includes provisions and language to ensure that subcontractors are timekeeping accurately and paying their employees fairly.
The various Florida wage and hour laws are intricate, which is why it’s important that you partner with a Naples construction lawyer to ensure that you are complying with the laws in your state. You can’t always be certain that the company you subcontract with is honest, but you can take steps to ensure that your are protected no matter the situation.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.