November 7, 2019
Legislators say widespread abuse in construction industry harms working families
OCEAN TOWNSHIP – Today, Senator Vin Gopal, Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling, and Assemblywoman Joann Downey called for a renewed effort by state agencies to crack down on the rampant and widespread illegal abuse of workers in the construction industry.
“Misclassification of workers as contractors, wage theft, illegal workweeks, and corporate tax evasion are major problems in our state,” said Houghtaling (D-Neptune), a 40-year IBEW member and Vice-Chair of the Assembly Labor Committee. “Abusive corporations are stealing from working people and building an unfair playing field that benefits the rich and powerful at the expense of New Jersey families. It’s time for our state to step up and build a stronger, fairer economy for Garden State workers.”
Houghtaling called on the Department of Labor, the Attorney General’s Office, the Department of the Treasury, and the Governor’s Task Force on Misclassification to continue and expand efforts to combat these abuses of working men and women.
“Not only are these bad actors robbing workers – they’re also cheating taxpayers and undercutting lawful businesses,” said Senator Gopal (D-Long Branch). “When you have a system that rewards illegality, you wind up with a race to the bottom that hurts everyone and only helps the criminals who made that possible. I’m glad to see the Governor and the Department of Labor making progress on these critical issues, but we need further and stronger action to end these daily abuses.”
“At the end of the day, the State of New Jersey can do so much more to stop these widespread issues,” said Assemblywoman Downey (D-Freehold). “We need to level the playing field, crack down on the major offenders, and expand fairness, opportunity, and economic justice for every New Jersey worker. It’s the right thing to do.”
Senator Vin Gopal, Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling and Assemblywoman Joann Downey represent New Jersey’s 11th Legislative District in the State Senate and Assembly, where they work to make the Garden State more affordable for its hard-working residents. The 11th District includes the Monmouth County municipalities of Allenhurst, Asbury Park, Colts Neck, Deal, Eatontown, Freehold Borough, Freehold Township, Interlaken, Loch Arbour, Long Branch, Neptune City, Neptune, Ocean Township, Red Bank, Shrewsbury Borough, Shrewsbury Township, Tinton Falls and West Long Branch.