Wage Complaints

There are two main areas that generate the majority of construction-related wage complaints in Wisconsin:

Prevailing Wage Violations
The Wisconsin Prevailing Wage law requires contractors on public works projects to pay a wage rate that is normally paid for similar work in a geographical area based upon a statewide annual survey.  The federal prevailing wage law (Davis-Bacon) requires prevailing wages to be paid on specific projects that receive $2,000 or more of federal funding.  The term prevailing wage rate or “white sheet” means the basic hourly rate of pay, plus the hourly contribution for employee benefits, paid directly or indirectly for an occupation or trade.  If no benefits are provided, the hourly base rate and the hourly benefit amount are required to be paid directly to the employee.   Those who violate prevailing wage laws not only underpay their workers but they also short change the government and have an unfair advantage against competing contractors that comply with the law.  If you think there might be a prevailing wage law violation or you just have questions about the application of the law, please click here to contact us.

Independent Contractor Misclassification
Worker misclassification happens when employers improperly classify workers as “independent contractors” instead of “employees.”  Worker misclassification is illegal because it deprives you of your employment rights and protections.

If you are misclassified as an independent contractor:

  • You won’t get overtime pay when you work more than 40 hours a week
  • Your injuries on the job may not be covered by workers’ compensation;
  • You might not get unemployment if you lose your job;
  • You will be responsible for paying any income tax withholdings, social security and medicare taxes due quarterly; and,
  • You may also miss out on employer-provided health insurance, retirement plans, vacation and sick leave, or other employee benefits typically offered in the workplace.