A Sustainable Workforce Starts With You

Reshaping the Construction Industry

The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) is considering interagency collaboration to step up enforcement of worker misclassification violations in Texas, a point they discussed in a meeting with construction industry leaders in December.Misclassification occurs when employers wrongfully identify their employees as independent contractors by providing them with a 1099 form instead of the W-2 for employees or by paying wages in cash and failing to withhold taxes.  By misclassifying their workers, unscrupulous employers cut their costs by getting out of paying payroll taxes and fraudulently obtaining workers compensation policies for fewer workers than they actually employ.When government agencies such as the TWC, the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI), the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts and the Attorney General of Texas share information, they can improve enforcement efforts by identifying likely violations for more effective investigations.
Emily Timm's picture
January 11, 2011
Steel construction on One World Trade Center, formerly called the Freedom Tower, reached the 52nd floor just before Christmas last month, marking the half-way point toward...
Elizabeth McPherson's picture
January 10, 2011
If we are in the bottom of the recession river, it is much wider than most folks thought it might be.  The recovery is taking longer that the economists thought and the...
Jim Kollaer's picture
January 06, 2011
Cyndi Mergele, Senior Manager at Padgett, Stratemann & Co., L.L.P. in San Antonio, wrote an interesting article for the Construction News, a newspaper focusing on the...
Elizabeth McPherson's picture
January 05, 2011
As much as the construction industry wanted to see 2010 come to an end, we are now faced with 2011 as a year of accelerating change.  Based on the latest figures from...
Jim Kollaer's picture
January 04, 2011
As the year winds down and we prepare to take on 2011, many of us will take a moment or two to reflect on where we are and perhaps even commit to a few changes to propel us closer...
Elizabeth McPherson's picture
December 30, 2010
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported yesterday:“Eight illegal aliens in a minivan stopped by state police at the turnpike interchange in New Stanton Monday were headed to work on a publicly financed housing project in Jeannette, according to state police and housing officials.”They were traveling in a van with a broken windshield.  When stopped by the police, several ran away.  They were subsequently apprehended and discovered to be in the country illegally.  They were traveling Maryland to Jeannette to work as framers on a $3.2 million public housing project.  The illegal workers were hired by the framing subcontractor, O. C. Cluss Lumber of Uniontown, PA who was supposed to show documentation of the workers’ identifications and addresses to the general contractor,  Steve Catranel Construction of Pittsburgh.  
Jim Kollaer's picture
December 28, 2010
Interfaith Worker Justice declared November 18, 2010 a National Day of Action Against Wage Theft, and helped organize actions in 50 cities across the United States.  Interfaith Worker Justice Executive Director Kim Bobo spoke at the rally and press event held in Washington, D.C.  She talked about the various events occurring that day around the country, including the Justice Bus in Houston which we wrote about earlier.  Other actions included a Jazz Funeral in New Orleans where participants celebrated the death of wage theft, mayoral proclamations in Grand Rapids and Miami, and the announcement of a new partnership between the Denver community and the Department of Labor.  
Elizabeth McPherson's picture
December 27, 2010
Earlier this month, construction workers reached the top of the central core of London’s tallest skyscraper, The Shard.  Originally called the London Bridge Tower due to its location, it was nicknamed The Shard of Glass due to its design which will be topped off with separated spires ending in sharp-looking points at 1017 feet high.  At its conception, it was intended to become the tallest building in Europe, but it will not achieve that title since the Federation Tower in Moscow was completed at 1660 feet in 2009.Designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano, developed by Sellar Property Group, the project’s major financial backers include Qatar Islamic Bank, QInvest, Qatar National Bank and Barwa International.  It is being built by Mace, a London-based international consultancy and construction company.  
Elizabeth McPherson's picture
December 22, 2010
There are many stories in the big city about wage theft from construction laborers, independent contractors and free lancers.  An article on the opinion page of the New York Times does a great job of showing the differences and the possible outcomes from the legal actions being undertaken by three individuals who have suffered from wage theft.  Coming from three entirely different vocations, a construction worker, a computer consultant and a freelance writer all share the common experience of dealing with employers who routinely fail to pay their wages as promised.The article expressed doubt that New York’s newest Wage Theft Prevention law would be of much help to these three particular individuals, but mentions  
Jim Kollaer's picture
December 20, 2010