Following the release of a University of Texas study on payroll fraud and working conditions in the construction industry, a prominent Republican businessman from Houston urged the legislature to take decisive action. Stan Marek, the Chairman and CEO of the Marek Family of Companies, called on Republicans and Democrats alike to join together to clarify the relationship between employers and their employees.
Marek pointed to the study's findings that over 40 percent of workers in construction are misclassified. "That's over 300,000 men and women," Marek said. "You're responsible for your own payroll taxes. You're paid by the piece, you're not paid by the hour. You don't get overtime if you work over 40 (hours a week) and you don't get safety training," he said.
"The industry cannot attract young Texans into the skilled trades if it continues to treat its workers this way," he said.
"This is an industry I love, it's the only thing I know, I've done it my whole life, my family's been doing it since 1938," Marek said. "And I don't like the way that it is. I've got two boys who hopefully come into the business, and I don't want to leave it like this for my two boys. I want to change it."
"If we leave it the way that it is, we're going to wake up one day, and we're not going to have any workers," Marek said.