In Pennsylvania, the construction industry has long had trouble with employers taking advantage of employees. Offering a job for cash may be enticing, but it can deprive workers of the full pay they are entitled to. The Construction Worker Misclassification Act – Act 72 – went into effect to prevent this from happening. Workers should be aware of their rights.
Understanding Act 72 and what it means
Act 72 went into effect in 2011. It made it a legal violation if employees were categorized as independent contractors. This applies to residential and commercial construction projects. Some employers might say that the worker was an independent contractor to avoid various responsibilities they would have if it were an employee. There are rules to being an independent contractor.
To be an independent contractor, the worker must have a contract; they must be free from the direction or control of the entity that hired them in how they perform their job; and they must generally work in an independent capacity.
They must have their own tools to perform the job; must profit financially from the work or suffer loss; must have ownership in the business; their business must be located elsewhere from the location of the job they are hired to do; they must have done the same type of work for another entity; and they must have liability insurance at a minimum of $50,000 while the contract is in effect.
Construction employees misclassified as contractors should know their rights
Many businesses function as independent contractors for construction projects. Others are employees under the law but have been misclassified so the employer can shirk certain legal requirements. When construction workers are misclassified, they must be aware of how that can harm them and take the necessary steps to make sure their rights are upheld.
They could be deprived of wages, overtime, insurance, unemployment coverage and more. Contacting experienced employment law professionals who understand the perspective of both the employer and employee can be imperative in misclassification cases and violations of Act 72.