In Texas, Construction Reform Has an Unlikely Champion

From Working In These Times — 

“It’s the Wild West,” says Stan Marek, CEO of Marek Brothers, in an interview with In These Times. Marek, who testified at the April 22 hearing, continues, “You just basically put the word out how many men you need, they show up on your job, you tell them you’re going to pay them as independent contractors. In Texas, you can get them to sign a waiver to give up their right to worker’s compensation if [they get] hurt. That’s legal in Texas.”

When employers misclassify their employees as independent contractors, a category meant for self-employed workers who can set their own hours and schedule, it is considered payroll fraud. It is also, however, one of the most common forms of wage theft in the country. Among other rights, it strips employees of minimum wage, overtime pay and workers’ compensation—already a rarity in Texas, the only state that does not require employers of any size to carry workplace insurance. All in all, half a million workers there have no financial safety net in case of injury on the job.

Read the full story at In Texas, Construction Reform Has an Unlikely Champion


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