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2 identical companies, 1 ‘wage thief’

On Behalf of | Jan 5, 2021 | Employment Law |

Imagine two landscaping companies right around the corner from each other.

Both companies cut lawns, lay mulch, install irrigation systems, and plow snow. Both employ skilled and unskilled laborers, drivers, and salespeople.  

Both companies utilize the same amount of marketing and signage, and neither business owner is better or worse than the other. 

However, one of the two businesses seems to be making more money than the other business. The owner has a fancy truck, a castle of a home, expensive equipment, and appears to have endlessly deep pockets.

The other is struggling to keep the lights on, pay the bills, and make a living and is not flashing big stacks of money. What is the difference if they are virtually the same business?

It often turns out one of them is not paying his employees what they are due and worth. The owner allows for no overtime pay and sometimes not even minimum wage. Additionally, they might not even be paying payroll taxes, Social Security contributions, unemployment insurance, or workers compensation. When the employer does not pay legal wages or contributions, they are stealing and using their employees’ wages, future benefits, and, by failing to pay into the employees’ funds, the safety of Social Security and unemployment.

Worse case scenario, if someone working for the ‘wage thief’ gets fired or laid off, and applies for unemployment insurance, they often find they were never recorded as employed. Only then do they discover their boss never paid unemployment insurance taxes.

 “Sorry, no unemployment benefits for you.”

Even further, troubles cascade if an employee slices open a finger or slips down some stairs and gets hurt on the job. Unfortunately, there will not be workers compensation given to that employee since the boss never bothered paying those premiums, either. Better hope no infection sets in. And the medical bills? All yours. Sorry.

Does it happen? Yes, all the time. 

If it happens at your job, or your flashy competitor’s shop, then contact me at [email protected]. We have ways to make things right.  

By: James Langendorf, Esq., Attorney at Hurley Law

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