Tax Fraud Rally – April 15, 3:30 pm on the Virginia Capitol steps
On Tax Day, April 15, the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy (VICPP) will stand in solidarity with the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America and all workers at a rally at the Virginia State Capitol steps at 3:30. This is part of a nationwide event to call attention to construction industry payroll tax fraud and the national epidemic of wage theft.
VICPP Executive Director, Kim Bobo will speak about the social and economic injustice of wage theft. VICPP represents people of many different faiths across the Commonwealth who believe that all workers are entitled to fair wages.
Wage theft is the illegal underpayment or nonpayment of workers’ wages. Wage theft harms workers, costs millions in loss of tax dollars, and is especially painful on tax day when many workers have to pay double taxes because their employers are not contributing their share of payroll taxes.
This practice is especially rampant in the construction industry where corrupt contractors pay workers off the books, or misclassify them as “independent contractors” instead of employees, which is illegal. This allows contractors to evade paying state and federal taxes and thus illegally lowers their labors costs by up to 40%, putting law-abiding employers at a competitive disadvantage.
The misclassification of employees as independent contractors costs Virginia an estimated $28 million a year in state income tax collections. In addition, failing to purchase workers’ compensation insurance, pay unemployment insurance and payroll taxes, and failing to comply with minimum wage and overtime laws, employers lower their costs by as much as 40 percent. That places other employers at a competitive disadvantage. Wage theft is particularly widespread in construction, agriculture, restaurant and landscaping businesses.
VICPP applauds Governor Northam in continuing the work of the Interagency task force focusing on worker misclassification and payroll fraud. We urge him to allocate more resources for the Department of Labor and Industries to crack down on this injustice.
The Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy stands with workers across the Commonwealth and will be advocating legislation to stop wage theft in the 2020 General Assembly.
Virginia Employment Commission: http://www.vec.virginia.gov/employers/employee-or-independent-contractor
Gov. Northam executive order: https://www.governor.virginia.gov/media/governorvirginiagov/executive-actions/EO-16-Establishing-An-Inter-agency-Task-Force-On-Worker-Misclassification-And-Payroll-Fraud.pdf