In every Wage Watch issue, Compliance Man answers your questions about your rights as a public construction worker. And plenty of questions there are—I get letters, phone calls and e-mails from workers just like you almost every day.
While I love hearing from you (keep the questions coming!), many of the queries are very similar. So this issue, I’ve revisit some of the topics that seem to come up over and over again. Here’s a look:
“What is the FFCM and why are you sending me a letter?”
The FFCM monitors public construction projects all over the state, making sure that contractors who receive public money are paying their workers the prevailing wage. The Foundation for Fair Contracting sends out thousands of letters a year to public construction workers, informing them of what they are entitled to.
“So does that mean that my employer is cheating me?”
Look carefully at the letter and you’ll notice that we have included information about the rate recorded by your employer and other important issues like job classifications and overtime. Check the information in the letter against your pay stub. If things don’t match, there may be a problem.
“My boss is paying me less than the prevailing wage. Is there anything I can do?”
Yes! The FFCM is here to help you get back any money that you might be owed and works with the Attorney General’s office to make contractors like yours aware of their legal obligations to their employees. Our monitors will help you determine how much money you’re owed and assist you in filing a claim with the AG’s office.
One guarantee: the key to a strong case lies in good record keeping. If you think that you are being cheated on the job, start keeping track of the work you’re doing and how much you’re being paid for it ASAP. We can send you a logbook to help you keep track.
“I’m worried that there is something fishy going on with my pension plan—but my employer discourages me from asking questions.”
Under federal law, your employer is required to provide you with a copy of what’s called the Summary Plan Description (SPD), including information on what your plan provides and how it operates. You are also entitled to receive annual financial reports, individual benefit statements and other pension-related documents. Failure to provide such information could result in a penalty for your employer.