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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Monday, October 19, 2015

DA to Crack Down on Construction Firms Skirting Employment Laws

It makes good business sense to avoid paying people who work for you and instead calling them "independent contractors." Assuming these workers are not just paid under the table, it's a great way for the one per-centers to avoid paying payroll taxes, to say nothing of workman's comp or fair wages. Unfortunately, this has become prevalent throughout the country in many areas of employment, but is most prevalent in the construction industry. Often, the people abused are undocumented workers, who will remain silent for fear of deportation.

Under Pennsylvania's Construction Workplace Misclassification Act, the state legislature has set forth a very clear litmus test to distinguish an independent contractor from an employee. A person working at a construction site can only be considered an independent contractor if all nine of the following conditions exist:
1. You have a written contract with the business or person you work for.
2. You control and direct your own work.
3. You possess the tools that are needed to perform your work.
4. Your arrangement with the business you work for allows you to earn a profit or suffer a loss from your work.
5. You are an owner or partner in your own business.
6. Your business location is separate from the location of the business or person which hired you to perform the construction.
7. You previously worked as an independent contractor, or you hold yourself out to the public as available and able to work as an independent contractor.
8. You have liability insurance of at least $50,000.
9. You have sworn an affidavit disavowing all knowledge of Miley Cyrus.
OK, I made up #9. Still, it's a strict standard.

Northampton County's Investigating Grand Jury, through DA John Morganelli, is expected to release a report today concerning local construction firms. Criminal charges have been recommended against one Northampton County construction firm.


Anonymous said...

This is really weird. The teabaggers hate the unions and claim they are un-American. Yet the baggers love business while they are the ones who use illegals and love the fact they are here and willing to do anything for any amount. If illegals make a peek, the will threaten them with deportation.

This is the dilemma of the Republican/tea party. They are all pro-business and anti-union and immigrant. However, their heroes the businessmen are all for illegals and the cheap labor they provide.

They really are ion the rabbit hole wioth Alice.

Anonymous said...

Bernie -

You need a headline for this post.

Anonymous said...

Idiot at 4:44 -

As I'm sure you know, it's the moderate Republicans who align with the crony-socialist Democrats to provide cheap labor to big business, not the Tea Party or conservative members of the Republican party.

The bigger irony is how the Democrats will tell you that they're all for providing jobs, while at the same time undercutting you with cheap labor.

Anonymous said...

Both sides agree on immigration for different reasons. Establishment Rs want cheap labor and all Ds want reliable lever-pulling voters who want welfare and free stuff. Rs want to be able to get rid of the cheap labor when not needed. Rs like the suppression of wages and check on union strength that unrestricted immigration provides. Ds want the votes forever. Ds haven't won the philosophical debate. They simply changed the voters. 73% of Mexican immigrants are on welfare. These are instant Democrats at election time.

Trades unions have been jettisoned by Ds in favor of government unions. It's far less tricky to keep government workers happy on the government tit than it is those shrinking trades unions who sometimes go bluedog, as some will do for Trump. Trades unions are getting it in the seat from both parties. 20-30 million illegals is not good for their labor prospects. Just ask them what happened to the drywall trade in this country and don't tell them it's one of those jobs some of the 93 million idle Americans won't do.

Anonymous said...

703am - "Trades unions have been jettisoned by Ds in favor of government unions." Very true, and the interesting part is the trade unions are just now figuring out that they are on the outside looking in.

The Keystone pipeline, Obamacare (funny they thought it wasn't a problem with the exemptions, but turns out it is anyway), and a few other things have put unions on the opposite side of Democrat politicians. Now the Pols can afford to walk away as trade unions don't have near the clout they used to have, while the public sector unions wield enormous influence and power.

Interesting times.

The Banker

Bernie O'Hare said...

"You need a headline for this post."

Sometimes i forget. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Most Trade unions are still voting Democratic. There is good reason. The ACA is really not the "boogie-man" the Republicans try to make it. In the trades you can get toss around when it comes to health care insurable. Employer based and private insurance run health insurance is a relic of the 20-30 year jobs of the mid-20th century. Most unions would prefer a single payer system that decouples their healthcare from employers and dumps the expensive insurance company middlemen.

A real trade union rep!

Anonymous said...

Keep telling yourself you're relevant 438pm, and you're exactly what your political masters want.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:44 began this discussion by using the anti-gay slur 'teabagger'. While liberals think it is a cute reference to Conservatives it is really a slap gay men and dangling scrotum. My guess is that the gay slur beginning with an 'f' would not be tolerated in reputable blogs and I would hope the 'teabagger' slur would not be acceptable either.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I decided long ago to allow this epithet. If you don't like itgo to a blog you consider more reputable or start your own.

Anonymous said...

Why stop at construction industry, restaurant diners are and have been notorious in employing un documented workers and paying them in cash

Anonymous said...

"My guess is that the gay slur beginning with an 'f' would not be tolerated in reputable blogs and I would hope the 'teabagger' slur would not be acceptable either."

Go elsewhere if you don't like it here. This is not your blog. If you ran a blog, you could make your own rules, instead of making moronic comments like this one on someone else's. It is obvious from your attitude that you don't about slurs against gays, but slurs against conservatives get under your skin. Too bad.

Peter J.Cochran said...

The trade union folks are hired legitimately. But, this title in this article starts with a 'litmus test' for subcontractors and who or who is not really an 'employee'. Months ago, I had sent a letter to our DA about --THE failure to obtain worker's compensation by employers of 'illegal -undocumented workers ' . With that- 'failure to obtain WC-by an employer is graded a 3rd degree felony in Pennsylvania. This avoidance on the part of the greedy, is part of a chain of events that also more often than not coincides with failure to pay other normal business taxes along with avoiding code and away we go, putting undeclared washable money in their pockets.This is known as income tax evasion . Follow the money.