You work. You get paid. It’s a simple concept that employers throughout the state are trying to get around. Unfortunately, a lot of workers and even honest business owners that are having to pick up the slack for these dishonest companies. And it’s being permitted because the government can’t seem to get its act together and nab those who are violating the law for their own benefit.
According to the News Observer, when a worker doesn’t get paid for the work they’ve done, it’s referred to as wage theft.
Our Asheville workers’ compensation lawyers understand whether employers are even carrying the workers’ compensation insurance mandated by law has become an issue as media reports have found hundreds of companies skirting the law. And, as the result of state bureaucracy, the agency charged with enforcing work safety measures is not even checking to see whether this insurance is in place in the event an employee is injured on the job.
In other cases, employers will claim that a worker was an independent contractor. When they do this, they’re not protected by workers’ compensation insurance and may not even enjoy the same wage-and-hour protections enjoyed by full-time employees. When workers aren’t paid, they’re often just brushed off by state officials and told to take it to small claims court. The end result, workers without legal representation are afforded little protection and few rights.
A lot of people who are injured on the job have to find that out the hard way that their boss has illegally lists them as an independent contractor, making them ineligible for workers’ compensation coverage. Workers who are laid off face some of these same problems, discovering that they’re not eligible for unemployment benefits.
The law needs to be changed and that’s the bottom line. It’s time to put a stop to those dishonest employers who are putting your well-being at risk just to save a buck.
Changes to Make the Law Benefit Workers:
-Never assume you are an employee – check with the company and ask for documentation.
-Employers should be required to report employee names, addresses and the employer’s identification numbers as well as whether each worker is classified as an employee or an independent contractor.
-Stop all companies from purchasing “ghost” insurance coverage.
-Make sure that agencies complete a thorough investigation on all wage theft claims.
-Prove the Department of Labor with the much-needed resources to adequately investigate the misclassification of employees.
-Provide misclassified workers with more information regarding what they need to appeal the denial of unemployment benefits.
-Make sure that the state’s Departments of Commerce, Revenue and Labor share information and data immediately and make sure that they harmonize these databases, which will go a long way toward identifying employers who cheat.
If you or someone you love has been injured on the job, contact Lee Law Offices, P.A. for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case. Call 1-800-887-1965 today!
More Blog Entries:
Protecting Your Rights as a N.C. Employee, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, September 11, 2012
South Carolina Worker Electrocuted in Utility Accident, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, September 8, 2012