Wednesday, February 8, 2023
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HomeNewsBusinessPennsylvania workers fighting for their unpaid wages face steep uphill struggle

Pennsylvania workers fighting for their unpaid wages face steep uphill struggle

The victims frequently aren’t even aware that they have been “robbed,” because it is theft without the use of a pistol or any other weapon. Workers all around the nation suffer from wage theft to the tune of billions of dollars each year.

It can be difficult to recover any money that is owing to you locally, particularly in Pennsylvania.

Construction firms continue to build in our area despite the current economic situation, assuring their employees decent pay and benefits.

However, the carpenters’ union asserts that this is not taking place at the Brewers Block project, a 377-unit, $80 million development in the Strip District. The co-general contractor disputes this assertion.

“At the moment, we are aware of numerous contractors there who use an exploited workforce and fail to pay taxes.”

The union, which is protesting every day on the job site, claims that the co-general contractor, RDC, hired subcontractors who paid their employees less than minimum wage with cash paid under the table, didn’t offer health insurance, and didn’t pay taxes.

RDC asserts that taxes are paid and that all employees receive fair compensation in the form of wages and benefits.

In a statement, the CEO of RDC stated, “Hundreds of construction employees are employed by the project, the majority of whom work for sizable subcontractors with long histories of operation that include numerous union, minority, and woman-owned companies with stellar records. Everyone employed on the project is paid well and meets or exceeds all federal and state employment regulations.”

According to RDC, the union is only angry because some work has been given to non-union members.

Similar claims made against other companies are instances of wage theft, which affects people who can least afford it and frequently feel unable to pursue what they believe is rightfully due to them.

According to James Kunz III of the PA Foundation for Fair Contracting, “the majority of folks don’t have enough money saved up for a $400 emergency.” Because they can’t afford to lose their jobs, the majority of workers don’t even speak out against it; instead, they accept what they can and make do.

Wage theft is widespread in numerous areas, including the food service sector, where restaurant waiters might make as little as $2.13 per hour and thus significantly rely on tips, according to cases here in Pittsburgh.

The owners of the Federal Galley restaurant on the North Side were ordered by the U.S. Department of Labor to pay their staff $42,000 in back wages fourteen months ago for making them split tips with managers, supervisors, and other employees who ordinarily do not receive tips.

For the same thing, it mandated in June that Wigle Whiskey in the Strip District pay $39,000 to hundreds of employees.

Everest, a home healthcare company with offices in Whitehall, was ordered by a federal court judge in August to pay its 218 employees $1.4 million in restitution for depriving them of overtime pay and falsifying records to conceal wage theft.

Everest claims it is abiding by the court order and compensating its employees.

Both Federal Galley and Wigle Whiskey assert that they have compensated their staff members and blame the errors on a misinterpretation of the legislation.

But this kind of settlement is an uncommon.

The majority of complaints are from specific employees who are not paid for overtime or who are not given their final weeks’ pay. The amounts are typically too small to employ a lawyer and dispute it, yet they are nevertheless upsetting.

For folks who are living paycheck to paycheck, losing two weeks’ or a month’s worth of pay is a fairly huge problem, according to labour lawyer Joe Pometto.

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor, which states that it has been successful in recovering lost earnings in about 45% to 55% of cases, is their only option.

However, a local labour lawyer claims that his experience indicates this is untrue.

They either don’t receive a reaction, it takes too long to respond, or even when the state takes over, they don’t actually experience relief, according to Pometto.

Josh Shapiro, who is now the governor, is expected to boost the number of state detectives working on these cases and take a tough position against wage fraud, according to Pometto and Kunz.

When Gov. Shapiro served as attorney general, he prosecuted the largest wage theft case ever in Pennsylvania, which resulted in a $20 million verdict against the state highway function Object() { [native code] } Hawbaker Construction, which was accused of pocketing the money intended for pensions and healthcare benefits.

Hawbaker disputed any misconduct, saying that state and federal officials had examined its procedures for years and that the business had believed it was in compliance with all legal requirements.

Because they were in enforcement, the incoming government will take this things seriously, according to Kunz.

You can be due salary in the meanwhile without even being aware of it.

Patrick Huston
Patrick Huston
As a senior editor, Patrick is a professional who is in charge of putting out business news. As a senior editor, Patrick is likely to be in charge of the duties of junior editors and writers, make sure the content is correct and high-quality, and work with other departments to make sure the business news is published on time. Patrick knows a lot about business and the latest market trends. He uses this knowledge to choose and edit stories that are both interesting and useful to readers. He also works with reporters and analysts to come up with insightful pieces that help readers keep up with the latest business news. Patrick is a very important part of keeping the public informed and interested in important business issues. He is passionate about journalism and strives for excellence.


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