Audelia Molina, a Mexican immigrant, was earning 10 cents for every garment she trimmed at a factory in Los Angeles, America's clothing-assembly capital. Her wage was so meager that she started putting in 11-hour days to drive up production.
A state task force on wage theft and misclassification is recommending that Wisconsin adopt new rules to prevent insurance fraud and hold contractors accountable for misconduct committed by their subcontractors.
A state task force has signed off on a series of policy suggestions to step up the enforcement of rules governing wage-theft and misclassification, ills that undercut honest contractors and exploit workers.
A task force wants the state officials to work together better and hire more investigators to root out wage theft, payroll fraud and other abuses, while requiring builders to register with the state in order to work in Wisconsin.
State agencies on Wednesday told a panel that the costs of the wage theft — a persistent source of concern in the construction industry — have worsened in recent years, depriving the state of millions worth of tax revenue.
Life hasn’t always been easy for Hilaro Flores. A native of Mexico, the immigrant construction worker now living just over Wisconsin's border, in Minnesota, lost his mother when he was a young child. His father couldn’t take care of Hilaro and his four siblings, so the children were sent off to live in different homes.
The lead Wisconsin misclassification investigator says he'd like more authority to issue stop work orders when officials find evidence that wage theft, payroll fraud and other abuses are taking place at a job site.