Construction industry pushes for enforcement - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Construction industry pushes for enforcement

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Amarillo, TX - Construction industry groups are urging the Texas Legislature to crack down on an ongoing issue they say harms the industry as a whole.

The Texas Construction Association is pushing for stricter laws against the illegal practice of misclassification, which is when an employer falsely identifies a worker as an independent contractor.

The motive is twofold: first, an employer doesn't have to pay overtime or provide benefits to the worker or pay social security or income taxes on that worker.  Secondly, an employer can potentially hire undocumented workers and sidestep the I-9, the federal form for employment eligibility.

And the practice allows an unscrupulous employer to underbid his competitors, which is harmful to the industry as a whole.

Current regulations already ban the practice, but enforcement is minimal at best.

Because of that, the TCA and other groups are pushing for greater enforcement and harsher penalties for violators.

Immigrations and Customs Enforcement has already stepped up their inspections of I-9 forms.

For more, follow the links attached to this story.