A Sustainable Workforce Starts With You

A Nationwide Spotlight on Worker Misclassification [VIDEO]

The cheaters in construction who all too often get away with avoiding payroll taxes and responsibility for their workers’ injuries are coming under even more scrutiny.  We’ve pointed out the problem for years at Construction Citizen because it is a blight on this industry and a roadblock to improving it for generations to come.

The practice by unscrupulous contractors runs counter to our mission of advancing a socially responsible, sustainable and value-added construction industry.  Misclassification in construction – and other industries as well – leads to the degradation of the employer-employee relationship, turns workers into disposable commodities, cheats taxpayers like you and me out of billions of dollars, and makes it nearly impossible for ethical companies to compete.

Now, McClatchy Newspapers around the country are planning to run what’s being touted as a special report called Contract to Cheat.

The newspapers, including the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, offer this teaser on their websites:

“Across the country, roughly 10 million construction workers spend each day in a dangerous and fickle industry.  They hang drywall, lay carpet, shingle roofs.  Yet in the eyes of their bosses, they aren't employees due the benefits the government requires.

“Employers treat many of these laborers as independent contractors – a tactic that costs taxpayers billions of dollars each year.  Yet when it comes to public projects, government regulators have done nearly nothing about it, even when the proof is easy to get.

“The workers don't have protections.  The companies don't withhold taxes.  The regulators don't seem to care.”

McClatchy says a team of their reporters has been working on this special report for the past year “unraveling the scheme,” as they put it.

They’re also teasing us all with the 1-minute video below.  We’ll look forward to their coverage, which starts Thursday.

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