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Old 10-28-2009, 10:02 PM
PochoPatriot PochoPatriot is offline
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Default Wage Guarantees for Day Workers

From La Antonia Times:

Quote:
Advocates for day laborers and other low-wage workers are pushing for a new city law that would target unscrupulous employers by making wage theft a crime in the city of Los Angeles.

They have found an ally in City Councilman Richard Alarcon, who plans to introduce a motion this morning directing the city attorney's office to write an ordinance that would criminalize nonpayment of wages.

"People think that just because they pick up somebody on the street or at a day laborer center that they don't have the responsibility to pay them if they don't like the work," Alarcon said. "This would make it illegal for somebody to do that."

Los Angeles would join a handful of cities, including Denver and Austin, Texas, that hold employers criminally responsible for not paying their employees. State and federal laws govern overtime, minimum wage and other labor standards, but the penalties are typically civil. A local ordinance would allow city prosecutors to file misdemeanor charges against employers.

Alarcon said he was motivated by a recent study that showed many low-wage workers in Los Angeles, New York and Chicago often don't receive minimum wage or overtime pay. The study, based on interviews with more than 4,300 workers, found that 26% of workers weren't paid minimum wage the week before and that 76% of those who worked overtime the previous week weren't paid the proper overtime rate. According to the report, the violations were widespread and occurred in various industries, including construction, child care and apparel.

"We were shocked ourselves," said Ruth Milkman, a UCLA sociology professor and one of the authors of the study.

Gary L. Toebben, president and chief executive of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, said people who work deserve to be paid, but that there are a lot of unanswered questions involving a possible ordinance, including what the criteria would be for an arrest and if the measure would cause additional backlogs in the courts. Before any ordinance is drafted, city officials should include private employers in the discussion, he said.

On a recent day at the UCLA Labor Center next to MacArthur Park, UCLA students helped workers draft letters to former employers demanding back pay.

Construction worker Santos Morales told the students that he was owed $415 for fixing a garage at a house four months ago.

Morales, 40, said he doesn't have the right to get a driver's license or immigration documents but that he does have the right to recover his wages.

"I am not asking for anything that isn't owed to me," he said. "I did the work."

anna.gorman@latimes.com

Copyright 2009, The Los Angeles Times
Please make Councilman Alarcon aware of your displeasure regarding mandating wage guarantees for people that have a high probability of residing and working in this country illegally.

City Hall Office: 213-847-7777
Pacoima Office: 818-756-9115
Sylmar Office: 818-756-8409

You can also send comment directly to the Councilman by filling out the form here.

Please forward this to people on your e-mail lists.
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Old 10-29-2009, 05:23 AM
Rim05 Rim05 is offline
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Will be my first job for today. I do think if you hire a person you should pay them for the work. I just will not hire any day laborer.
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Old 10-29-2009, 07:55 AM
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ilbegone ilbegone is offline
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Originally Posted by Rim05 View Post
Will be my first job for today. I do think if you hire a person you should pay them for the work. I just will not hire any day laborer.
I feel the same way.

However, unless one has extensive experience with Mexicans, one wouldn't know there would be very few Mexican males who would cop to not knowing how to do something. I don't if it has to do with some notion of masculine pride, saying or doing anything to make a buck, or both.

Generally, you get what you pay for. And if you provide the ride to and from and provide the tools and material it doesn't take a genius to calculate that 99 percent of the time the guy is going to try to fake his way through something he hasn't a clue about.

If he brings his own tools, and has his own transportation, if he has a funky hammer and cheap or improvised tools, he probably isn't skilled.

I believe that generally, if someone has all brand new personal tools, either his stuff was stolen and he's replaced all his gear or he's a novice. Does he work in a professional manner, or are there a lot of wasted moves? Just because someone races around, throwing up a lot of dust, doesn't mean he's productive.

And, just because someone sells his labor cheap doesn't mean he's productive. Maybe he's desperate or indifferent. Or resentful that it's all he can aspire to.

Last edited by ilbegone; 10-29-2009 at 10:32 PM.
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Old 10-29-2009, 11:30 AM
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ilbegone ilbegone is offline
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Why it's wise to hire a licensed contractor
Quote:
BY VICKIE SANDERS
Oct 23 2009

Editor's note: Action Line is a weekly column from the Better Business Bureau answering consumers' questions and concerns about money and business issues.

Dear Action Line:

Our roof needs some repairs before we (hopefully) get winter storms and my husband and I are fighting over who should do the repairs. I found a handyman listed in the classifieds and he said he could do the job for $300 less than the quotes we got from local roofing contractors.

My husband is insisting that we hire a licensed contractor, but we are talking about a roof, not rocket science. Money is tight and I don't see why we should spend more just because someone has an extra piece of paper. Any suggestions?

Dear Reader:

Tempting as it might be at any time to save $300, your husband is right in insisting that you use a licensed contractor to repair your roof. A license means more than that the contractor knows how to work on your roof. It means that he is responsible enough to follow state laws and has the appropriate insurance to protect his workers and your property. In California, any work more than $500 must be performed by a licensed contractor.

Non-licensed contractors do not meet the state requirements. They don't register with the state, making it easier for them to get away with messy jobs or not completing your project. And they are in direct competition with the businesses that act professionally and meet the state's standards.

These companies have no Contractor's Bond. Without a bond, consumers are responsible for supplies the contractor neglects to pay for. Suppliers may even place a lien on the consumer's home until the balance on the supply account has been paid.

The BBB recently was contacted by a man who had paid $80,000 to his unlicensed contractor for supplies that were delivered but never actually paid for and it cost him an additional $80,000 to pay the supplier himself and remove the lien from his property.

Non-licensed contractors do not participate in California's Workers Compensation system. If a worker is injured on the consumer's property, the consumer is responsible for unpaid medical bills. A lien may also be placed on the consumer's home if they refuse to pay the medical expenses.

Remember, contractors are required to collect only 10 percent or $1,000 (whichever is less) of the total contract as a deposit.

You can verify a contractor's license by calling the BBB at 322-2074 or checking online at bbb.org or cslb.ca.gov. Call Diana Ivie at the BBB at 559-222-8408 or 800-675-8118, ext. 320 if you think you are dealing with an unlicensed contractor or contact the Contractors State License Board (800-321-2752) for licensing updates.

There are simply too many negatives to saving a few dollars. Be sure to investigate before you invest. Use a licensed contractor and start with trust.
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Old 10-29-2009, 09:02 PM
Rim05 Rim05 is offline
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Quote:
However, unless one has extensive experience with Mexicans, one wouldn't know there would be very few Mexican males who would cop to not knowing how to do something. I don't if it has to do with some notion of masculine pride, saying or doing anything to make a buck, or both.

Generally, you get what you pay for. And if you provide the ride to and from and provide the tools and material it doesn't take a genius to calculate that 99 percent of the time the guy is going to try to fake his way through something he hasn't a clue about.

If he brings his own tools, and has his own transportation, if he has a funky hammer and cheap or improvised tools, he probably isn't skilled.

I believe that generally, if someone has all brand new personal tools, either his stuff was stolen or he's a novice. Does he work in a professional manner, or are there a lot of wasted moves? Just because someone races around, throwing up a lot of dust, doesn't mean he's productive.

And, just because someone sells his labor cheap doesn't mean he's productive. Maybe he's desperate or indifferent. Or resentful that it's all he can aspire to.
All those words are so true. I am so careful about who I hire any more. Used to be a person would tell you he could do something and you could believe it but now days the person could just be desperate for work. The part about the tools is a good observation. Thanks for the input.
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Old 10-30-2009, 08:03 AM
Kathy63 Kathy63 is offline
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This law makes it extremely dangerous to hire a criminal. They won't give you a receipt, or a legitimate SSN or any proof that they have indeed been paid. Now they can come back with a cause of action that they have not been paid.

This is something I saw quite frequently when my office was open.

Someone is having work done on their property. They hire a licensed contractor. A scammer will drive by, see that work is being done, or if completely inside, see a contractor's sign, or any evidence of construction. The scammer will run down and file a Mechanic's Lien against the property alleging that THEY had done the work and not been paid. Then they will contact the property owner to demand some kind of payment to remove the Lien.

This is a scam that individual criminal aliens might use now that they have legitimacy.
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Old 10-30-2009, 08:40 AM
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Ayatollahgondola Ayatollahgondola is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathy63 View Post
This is something I saw quite frequently when my office was open.

Someone is having work done on their property. They hire a licensed contractor. A scammer will drive by, see that work is being done, or if completely inside, see a contractor's sign, or any evidence of construction. The scammer will run down and file a Mechanic's Lien against the property alleging that THEY had done the work and not been paid. Then they will contact the property owner to demand some kind of payment to remove the Lien.

This is a scam that individual criminal aliens might use now that they have legitimacy.
I never did care for the ease at which a lein could be placed upon your property by a supplier or craftsman. It doesn't take much to do, but it does take a bit to remove it. It shouldn't surprise us that our legislature agreed to such a system that left a wide, wide window of opportunity open to scammers
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