This week the State of New Hampshire released their ‘top ten’ list of labor violations. To those of us who are working in the labor movement, none of these are really surprising. The majority of these violations stem from employers stealing workers pay.
Top 10 New Hampshire Labor Law Violations
- Failure to pay all wages due for hours worked, fringe benefits, breaks less than 20 minutes, etc. *RSA 275:43 and Lab 803.01
- Failure to keep accurate record of all hours worked. *RSA 279: 27 and Lab 803.03
- Failure to have a written safety plan, joint loss management committee and safety summary form filed biennially, as required. *RSA 281-A:64 and Lab 602.01, 602.02, 603.02, and 603.03
- Employing Illegal Aliens (not having proper documentation). *RSA 275-A: 4-a
- Failure to secure and maintain workers compensation coverage and misclassification of employees. *RSA 275:42 I & II and RSA 281-A
- Failure to provide written notice to employees of their wage rate, pay period, pay day and a description of fringe benefits, including any changes. *RSA 275: 49 and Lab 803.03
- Failure to pay 2 hours minimum pay at their regular rate of pay on a given day that an employee reports to work at the request of the employer. *RSA 275:43-a and LAB 803.03 (h),(i),(j)
- Illegal employment of workers under 18 (not having proper paperwork, hours violations, or working in a hazardous environment). *RSA 276-A: and Lab 1000
- Illegal deductions from wages. *RSA 275: 48 and Lab 803.02(b),(e),(f)
- Failure to pay minimum wage for all hours worked. * RSA 279:21
Wage theft is real and people have to deal with it in many jobs, especially those who work in service industry. The “Failure to pay minimum wage for all hours worked” goes right against the right wing, anti-minimum wage advocates who like to go around saying that tipped employees make $20.00 per hour. For those who do not know, the minimum wage for tipped employees in NH is $3.25 (45% of $7.25 minimum wage). The sheer fact this this violation is on the list means that people in the service industry are not making enough in tips to reach the mandated $7.25 minimum wage.
The other violations on this list are egregious, but the ‘misclassification of workers’ and ‘employing illegal aliens’, are two violations that are hurting all hard working Granite Staters.
By allowing undocumented aliens to work and then misclassifying them allows companies to pay workers far less than a comparable American worker would make.
I have heard stories of construction companies hiring a person to be a ‘janitor’ and then have that same employee doing carpentry on a job site. Of course you would be hard pressed to find a real carpenter who would work on a construction site for janitor’s wages. The other problem is what skills does this person really possess? Are they really qualified to do carpentry?
We need the State Department of Labor to come down hard on employers who violate these labor laws. The more they litigate employers for violations, the more others will fall in line and follow the rules.