Why Millions of Working Americans Are Not Getting Paid - And What We Can Do About It

Tag Archives: State – New Jersey

Study finds workers in N.J. supply chain warehouses experience wage theft, discriminatory hiring

Monday, May 21st, 2012   Posted in Uncategorized

A New Jersey labor organization that represents immigrants and a Harvard University graduate student yesterday released a survey that shows the men and women who work in the state’s supply chain warehouses experience wage theft, unsafe job conditions and discriminatory hiring.

The state’s logistics sector, largely based in the big warehouses off Turnpike exit 8A in southern Middlesex County, handled 3 million shipping containers of cargo from Port of Newark/Elizabeth in 2010, the study said. There, workers prepare freight to travel on trains or in trucks to their final destinations.

Harvard student Jason Rowe worked with New Labor, a group that represents more than 2,000 immigrant workers statewide, and interviewed 291 people who worked at these distribution centers from November 2011 to February 2012. They found that 61 percent work full-time hours after being hired as temporary employees through staffing agencies.

Those surveyed make an average of $8.26 per hour. Agency workers reported earning an average of $1 less than their direct-hire counterparts.

The report said workers at facilities that ship products to Walmart stores make less money than their peers, creating a “Walmart Wage Effect” that has driven down wages.

http://www.nj.com/business/index.ssf/2012/05/study_finds_that_workers_in_nj.html

Contractors Face 15 Years in Wage Theft

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011   Posted in Uncategorized

A New Jersey husband-and-wife contracting team has been indicted on charges of swindling employees out of nearly $200,000 in unpaid wages and benefits, then trying to paper over the alleged fraud.

Kenneth Deaver, 54, and Diane Deaver, 49, owners of Schenley Construction Inc. of Hewitt, NJ, each face up to 15 years in state prison on charges that they failed to pay at least 21 workers the required prevailing wages and benefits such as health insurance on three municipal sewer projects in New York between 2008 and 2010.

 

 Diane and Kenneth Deaver
Diane and Kenneth Deaver each face up to 15 years in prison on 53 criminal counts.

The Deavers, of Warwick, NY, were arrested earlier this month on a sealed indictment handed up by a Rockland County (NY) Grand Jury. Bail was set at $75,000 cash or $150,000 bond.

http://www.paintsquare.com/news/?fuseaction=view&id=6818

Dark side of labor: Wage theft common among undocumented day laborers

Friday, February 25th, 2011   Posted in Uncategorized

The Mexican native had lived in the United States no more than three weeks when he was hired to work for a Manalapan landscaper. For $8 an hour he cut grass, whacked weeds, even did a little welding.

At first, his boss paid him a couple hundred dollars for his work, he said. But soon, pay day would come around and there would be no money for Garcia.

Garcia, 40, of Lakewood, worked for the company about a month and a half. Gradually, his unpaid wages grew to around $1,000 — approximately 125 hours of free labor.

“I felt impotent. It made me feel that I couldn’t do anything,” Garcia said Wednesday.

Out many days’ pay, Garcia had to turn to his friends for financial help. He never tried to recover his lost wages, partially out of ignorance of his rights but also, he said, because he needed to focus on finding another job to pay off the expenses he had incurred.

Garcia’s story is all too common.

Talk to day laborers and their advocates around the state, and the stories come pouring out: The cook’s assistant who was forced to continue working with a swollen, bloody head after the chef hit him with a heavy pan. The landscaper who pretended to run over his workers for a laugh. The construction worker who lost an eye when his boss refused…

http://www.app.com/article/20110212/NJNEWS/102120327/Dark-side-of-labor-Wage-theft-common-among-undocumented-day-laborers

Dark side of labor: Though often cheated, humiliated, Morris day laborers have rights

Saturday, February 12th, 2011   Posted in Uncategorized

Last summer, 40-year-old day laborer Uvaldo Garrido and a handful of other men were picked up by a Philadelphia contractor in Morristown to work on a roofing project.

The men were paid for the first full week of work, but at the end of the second week, the contractor advised the men the job was off. He drove them back to Morristown and never paid them for the last week of labor.

Garrido, 40, told his story while waiting for early-morning work outside the Morristown train station, bundled in layers of clothing in below-freezing temperatures hoping for a chance at a day’s work.

He was swindled out of his wages that week last summer, and should have earned $500; but, instead, was left feeling worthless and upset, he said.

“Imagine if you were (the one) working up high, taking out a roof when it’s really hot,” Garrido said. “He robbed us.”

Garrido and his work buddies did not report the incident for fear of their immigration status being questioned, and though they reported it to an immigrant resource organization, nothing came of that.

Talk to day laborers and their advocates around the state, and the stories come pouring out: The cook’s assistant who was forced to continue working with a swollen, bloody head after the chef hit him with a heavy pan. The landscaper who pretended to run over his workers for a laugh. The construction worker who lost an eye when his boss refused to take him to a doctor for treatment.

“They (workers) think they have no rights to ask for (the money). There’s a lot of abuses going on,” said Carmen Salavarrieta, founder and director of the Plainfield-based Angels in Action, which often advocates on behalf of day laborers.

A recent survey of day laborers compiled by Seton Hall University School of Law in Newark

http://www.dailyrecord.com/article/20110212/NJNEWS/102130309/Often-cheated-humiliated-day-laborers-in-Morris-have-rights-