SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Members of the local carpenters union are braving the elements to bring awareness to tax fraud in their line of work. “In the construction industry it’s become a business model amongst cheating contractors,” said Mitchell Latimer, NASRCC – NY Carpenters Union Council Representative.
Latimer said this fraud costs Americans billions each year. He shared some of the ways workers are being cheated. “They intentionally pay people under the table,” He added, They don’t pay them for overtime. they’ll have them work extra hours with no overtime pay, cash to avoid paying taxes. it happens quite often and it saves them a lot of money on workers compensation.”
He said it also prevents an employee from applying for health benefits because they have no way to prove income. He added that these impacted employees have a hard time coming forward. “It hurts the employees themselves because they have no recursive action when they have no paper trail,” Latimer said.
That’s why he and other union members feel it’s important to bring awareness so workers know they can do something about it. “Definitely reach out to your local representative, whether it be in the carpenters union, the department of labor, just start reaching out. don’t be afraid we are there for you,” he said.
Workers can also report fraud to the Department of Labor.