Dishonest Employers Targeted by Recently Signed ‘Wage Theft’ Law

Dishonest Employers Targeted by Recently Signed ‘Wage Theft’ Law

6/24/2011

 

A revised state law, which was recently signed by Texas Gov. Rick Perry, promises to make it tough for dishonest employers to manipulate the wages of their employees.

KFOX 14 revealed last week that several dozens of construction workers, including Rick Madrid, are falling victims to wage theft.

“I am not sure why that happens,” said Madrid. “It is hard to do anything about it.”

He is now working 17 hours each day at two different jobs to make up for the lost wages.

Madrid added, “I did not have any food. I did not have any gas, and I knew I was going to have trouble paying my rent.”

Several weeks ago, Madrid, along with dozens of others working for the contractor EBCO and subcontractor CRATUS, did not get paid for hundreds of hours of laborious work. That amounted to around $800 owed for each worker.

During an interview with KFOX-14, EBCO said that they kept their end of the contract and that it was the responsibility of CRATUS to pay the workers. For the part of CRATUS, its spokesman, Eddie Valenzuela, told KFOX-14 that paying the workers is EBCO’s responsibility and that they plan to pursue legal action against the company.

According to CAFI, the Phoenix-based lender of EBCO and CRATUS, EBCO did not make any payment or at least authorize payment to CRATUS even once.

Chris Benoit, a Paso Del Norte Civil Rights Project lawyer, in an interview with KFOX-14 said, “It’s a big problem. It’s something that in the Borderland region I think we deal with more so than other major cities.”

He welcomed jubilantly the signing by Perry of the revised “wage theft” law that he had been working on for a long time.

WRITTEN BY:

blakeh@wellsdrew.com