Workers file 1st complaint under city wage theft law

Jeanette Smith - Wednesday, April 16, 2014

By Lomi Kriel April 15, 2014 | Updated: April 15, 2014 4:25pm

Thirteen workers on Tuesday filed the first complaint under a new Houston ordinance aimed at preventing companies from stealing workers' wages.

The workers, with the assistance of the nonprofit Faith and Justice Worker Center, filed documents with the city's inspector general alleging that their employer, Bradley Demolition and Construction, refused to pay them overtime. They say the company also failed to provide tax forms.

Among those filing the complaint were Erik Lopez and his three brothers. They said they often worked 80 hours a week, building highway ramps and trash landfills for various city projects.

A supervisor at Bradley Demolition "would tell me it didn't really suit him to pay me overtime," said Lopez, 30, a native of Guerrero state in Mexico, who came to Houston 14 years ago seeking work.

Calls on Tuesday to Bradley Demolition and Construction weren't immediately returned.

It was not until Lopez heard about the city's wage theft ordinance, passed in November, that he realized he had some recourse. Read the full article here

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