Labor Dispute

According to an article in the Associated Press, the nation’s largest construction subcontractor, Building Materials Holding Corp., will pay nearly $475,000 to a group of construction workers under a legal settlement approved by the bankruptcy judge overseeing the company’s Chapter 11 proceedings.

The article said:

“The lawsuit accused the company and its subsidiaries, including San Francisco-based SelectBuild Construction Inc., of violating state and federal law by not paying laborers higher rates for overtime work and by withholding payment for time spent in transit between job sites.

Company officials also forced workers to hand in time sheets that understated the hours they had worked, the lawsuit said.”

The construction company denies any wrongdoing; but says they agreed to the settlement to avoid the time and cost associated with further litigation.  Although this company denies the allegations brought by the workers in this case, labor violations are becoming more common as workers face more job losses during this recession. Reports of “unofficial” overtime have increased as more workers who are on the brink of bankruptcy themselves, endure long hours for no extra pay in an effort to keep their jobs. And as we have reported over the past year, many companies have given their employees official pay cuts that have left many unable to pay for the basics such as their mortgage, car note, utilities and groceries.  Many workers are simply barely making it. It’s important to remember that even if you are working a full-time job with benefits, you may still be eligible to file bankruptcy and discharge your debts if you are unable to meet your debt obligations while maintaining the basics.  Please do not allow yourself to fall deeper into debt while your employer cuts your pay to save money. Consider all of your options, including bankruptcy.