An Indianapolis contractor recently pled guilty to violating a contract for not paying required wage rates on public works’ projects. It was reported that the company owned by the contractor incorrectly reported the skill levels of certain subcontractors (resulting in these workers being paid lower wages) and misrepresented wage information on required forms. It was estimated that the amount of unpaid wages exceeded $50,000.
In Indiana, because of the complexity of the “Indiana Common Wage” law, wages for contractors and subcontractors may vary from county to county. Because of this – and especially in contractor and subcontractor situations – the temptation may be great for supervisors not to pay the appropriate amount of wages to those performing services for them. It may be that the workers do not understand how much in wages that they are actually owed, their supervisors have not kept the appropriate wage and accounting records, or that workers fear retaliation if they complain about how much they are being paid.
If you are a contractor or subcontractor and suspect that you are not being properly paid, you may want to consider legal counsel at that point. The laws are complex and it may require someone experienced in this area of law to understand what the actual requirements of those paying their contractors or subcontractors should be.
Though this was an isolated situation, such practices may be more widespread. Ones supervisor generally is in a better position to understand wage laws than those individuals that they contract with or employ. It is also their legal duty to abide by such regulations.
Source: IndyStar.com, “Indianapolis contractor pleads guilty to wage violation,” Oct. 28, 2011