Construction workers in California continue complaining about wage theft. This is especially true for female construction workers who earn significantly less than men. Unfortunately, one in six construction workers in the state is having their wages stolen. Whether it involves cheating on payroll overtime or taxes, wage fraud is wrong and employers should not get away with this crime. Contact a California wage & hour lawyer to fight for your rights.
Shortage Of Qualified Construction Workers
The construction industry wage fraud has increased significantly since the 1970s. With an over 400% increase in wage scams, one wonders what the future may hold. Construction labor shortage also continues. It is just a difficult job many are not willing to take due to the wage epidemic.
California needs more workers to rebuild after massive fires have devastated the region. Thanks to the recent state housing reform, California developers can now build homes faster and cheaper, which means more skilled workers will be hired. As more trained workers are hired, there will be less risk of cheap workmanship. Also, taxpayers will not have to support as many unemployed workers and there may be more funds available to protect employees from the wage theft epidemic.
Why Are Women Construction Workers Earning Less?
This is another common problem the construction industry is facing right now. Women construction workers are currently earning 17% less than men in similar positions. Although the gap between women and men in construction is one of the smallest among other industries, there is still a significant gender gap. In order for this to change, women need to be hired at the same level of jobs as men. The industry needs skilled workers, notwithstanding their gender or background.
How Wage Theft Happens
Employers use many tactics to cheat on their employees. They may promise to pay more and then disappear on payday, checks may bounce, or they may simply say they can’t pay their employees because they don’t have the funds. Many construction workers in California and throughout the nation are still paid subminimum wages, and they may not receive overtime pay. Some construction workers are fired and they never receive their final wages. The list of violations by both small and large construction companies in California is very extensive. Something needs to be done to stop the wage theft epidemic.
How Can These Workers Protect Themselves?
Some workers feel it is better to look for another job than to claim their lost wages. This is particularly true for illegal immigrants who fear they may draw attention from authorities. Despite fear and uncertainty, some workers take direct action by hiring a California wage & hour attorney. Workers also help each other out by spreading the word to avoid cheating employers.
The Outlook For The Future
The employment of construction workers is projected to grow by about 13% in the coming years. But nobody knows if the wage theft epidemic will ever end. Millions of Americans are still struggling to get by on a low income, and sometimes without health insurance, sick leave, and many other benefits, they are entitled to receive.