by Jim Kollaer on Fri, 02/25/2011 - 1:58pm
In Part 3 of the I-Team report, reporter Randy Travis continues his undercover investigation of illegal workers laboring on publicly funded construction projects in the Atlanta area.
“The goal of the Stimulus Bill was to stimulate the economy and put Americans back to work. A FOX 5 I-Team investigation discovered one local stimulus project is actually making it easy for illegal immigrants to get those jobs.
To get a job in this country, you have to show identification and prove you can legally work. So why did one company on this stimulus project say to get work there, you don't need any papers at all?”
In the report, Travis finds and documents that MC Matrix, LLC, a Montgomery, Alabama masonry construction firm, was contracted to lay masonry on a senior housing project funded in part by guaranteed loans from the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act or Stimulus Bill. MC Matrix subbed the actual work to Edgar Gonzalez Masonry who hired masons as 1099 workers. According to the interview, all that was needed to lay bricks was a Taxpayer Identification Number, which may be obtained whether a person is in the country legally or not. Hired as 1099 workers or independent contractors means there were no taxes withheld, no overtime paid and no social security or unemployment funds withheld.
As the video shows, this is clearly a violation of State and Federal labor laws.
Last week, Construction Citizen pointed out part one and part two in this series of reports. Randy Travis and Fox 5 should be applauded for this investigative reporting and for showing how widespread the misclassification and wage theft issues really are across the country. Congress has bills in committee to address the issue nationally and 30 plus states have already taken action to stop these abuses.