Stories to Stop Wage Theft is a project of the Oregon Coalition to Stop Wage Theft. Learn more at: www.nwjp.org. The video series shares the testimonies of Oregon workers who have experienced stolen…
Added on 2/21/13
And guess what?? Our voices were heard!
HB 2977 (one of our bills for stopping wage theft) passed the Oregon House of Representatives last Thursday with a strong margin. The bill has now moved on to the Senate floor and will be up for a vote any day.
Your call or email now will help make sure our Senators vote in support of HB 2977 to better protect construction workers and honest construction contractors from stolen wages.
You can find the name and contact information of your state Senator by entering your home address at http://www.leg.state.or.us/findlegsltr/.
PROBLEM: Wage theft is so rampant in construction in large part because some licensed building contractors use loosely regulated middle men to supply workers to construction sites. Some labor brokers steal wages, pay with cash under the table, misclassify workers as independent contractors, and then disappear or run out of money before they can be held accountable. In the process, they also cheat the state out of revenue and create unfair competition for responsible construction contractors.
SOLUTION: HB 2977 would require construction labor brokers to get a license and post a bond. Responsible construction contractors that deal with labor brokers would then know that they are dealing with a quality operation, while those companies that knowingly hire unlicensed labor brokers would clearly be liable for unpaid wages. Workers who are not paid could recover their wages through the bond.
Watch this video of Jesus, Gilberto, and Rafael’s experience with the kind of cheating construction labor broker that HB 2977 would better regulate.
Take one minute now to call or email your state Senator for a YES ON HB 2977.
Here’s a suggested message:
“My name is ____________, and I live in ______________. HB 2977, which will stop wage theft in the construction industry, will be up for a vote on the Senate floor soon. I urge my Senator to vote in support. Wage theft in the construction industry is a huge problem that hurts all of us, and our current laws are not working.
HB 2977 passed out of the House with bipartisan support because it’s smart policy. The bill updates our laws to meet the realities of today’s underground economy in the construction industry. It would benefit our state by cracking down on abusive construction labor brokers and construction companies that knowingly contract with them. I strongly support this effort to protect construction workers, honest contractors, and taxpayers from wage theft.”
THE SENATE VOTE COULD BE ANY DAY, SO CALL OR EMAIL YOUR STATE SENATOR NOW – and let us know what you hear. Together, we can stop wage theft!
And as always, let us know what they say. We love to hear back about what our reps are telling human dignity leaders.