Mass. lawmaker will keep up the fight against wage theft

From The Boston Globe:

by Massachusetts State Senator Sal DiDomenico

WISH I could say I was surprised by the recent Globe investigation into the exploitation of immigrant workers (“The work they need, the perils they face,” Page A1, Sept. 18). Unfortunately, I’m all too aware of the unethical, unsafe, and illicit practices that are pervasive throughout the Massachusetts economy and the construction industry in particular.

I’ve heard from far too many workers who have been misclassified as “independent contractors,” cheating them out of minimum or prevailing wages and leaving them on the hook for medical costs when injured on the job. I’ve spoken with countless immigrants who have been exploited by their employers, going weeks without pay and left unable to care for themselves and their families.

Wage theft comes in different forms, but they all have the common denominator of hurting workers, families, and our communities.

That’s why I filed legislation to prevent this illegal practice and promote employer accountability by giving the state greater power to go after corrupt employers and providing the attorney general with additional tools to hold violators fully accountable.

I was proud to work with my Senate colleagues and friends in labor to get this bill passed in June, but our work isn’t over until this bill becomes law. I plan on filing it again next session, and my colleagues and I in the Legislature will once again have the opportunity tackle this problem. It’s time to stop talking about protecting workers and put our words into action.

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