Secrets of the Job Hunt


Friday, November 21, 2008

$ 1.2 Million Collected for Maryland Workers cheated out of Wages by Employers

Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation Secretary Thomas E. Perez announced that through the enforcement of wage and hour laws and the prevailing wage, the Division of Labor and Industry recovered a record $1.24 million in wages owed to Maryland job workers in Fiscal Year 2008.

“Wage and hour laws, including the prevailing wage, are meant to ensure that workers who put in an honest days work are not subject to exploitation on the job,” said Secretary Perez. “It is our duty as regulators to go after employers who break the law not only to protect workers, but to ensure that those employers who play by the rules are dealt a fair hand.”

In April 2008, Prevailing Wage investigators collected $145,452 in restitution for 14 employees of Certified Roofing Systems Inc. The employees were performing sheet metal work on a project at Salisbury State University, but were being paid the lower wage required for roofers. Those wages recovered on behalf of the 14 workers contributed to the total of $1,241,015 collected in Fiscal Year 2008, compared to $540,961 the previous year.

“We have stepped up our enforcement efforts to protect workers from unfair practices and ensure they are treated fairly and get paid the wage rates that they are promised and that they deserve,” said Labor and Industry Commissioner Ron DeJuliis.

In the years before Governor O’Malley was elected, funding for the enforcement of worker protection laws was decimated, and completely eliminated in Fiscal Year 2005. Under Secretary Perez’s leadership, restoring the Department’s capacity to enforce worker protection laws is a top priority.

“The federal government in recent years has completely abdicated its responsibility to protect workers, and the prior state administration nearly eliminated the unit dedicated to just that purpose,” Secretary Perez said. “DLLR is working aggressively to enforce laws meant to protect both workers and law-abiding employers from those who shirk their legal duties.”

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