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Construction workers losing overtime pay fight back in Houston

Most employees expect their employers to pay them properly for the work that they do. This includes any overtime pay that is paid in excess of the worker's standard hours. There are times, however, when employers may believe that they can get away with not paying their employees appropriately, believing that nothing will be voiced about the issue. This type of behavior was reported to have happened recently with a Houston company.

Bradley Demolition and Construction had a complaint filed against it by thirteen of its employees. The Faith and Justice Worker Center assisted the employees with filing the necessary documentation against their employer. One of the plaintiffs in this case, along with three of this brothers, did not believe that anything could be done about the situation until they had read about a wage theft ordinance that had been passed in Houston.

In their complaint, the employees allege that their employer did not give them necessary tax forms nor give them their appropriate overtime pay. One of the plaintiffs claims that a supervisor for the company had told him that it did not "suit" him to give the employee his earned overtime pay. The construction worker believes that he was cheated out of around $40,000 in lost wages. The brothers in this case claim that they often worked in excess of 80 hours per week and did not receive the appropriate wages.

Houston's inspector general stated that wage theft not only harms the workers involved, but also other businesses who have higher costs to deal with because they are paying their employees appropriately. According to the Faith and Justice Worker Center, there are nearly $750 million in wages, including overtime pay, that are lost per year in the Houston area. Employees who feel that they have been a victim of wage theft can consider filing a claim against their employer.

Source: chron.com, "Workers file 1st complaint under city wage theft law", Lomi Kriel, April 15, 2014

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