Minnesota loses $136 million in revenue to construction wage theft

Lucas Franco, Regional Research Manager for the Minnesota and North Dakota Laborers’ International Union of North America, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss a recent report that found that one in four Minnesota construction workers is a victim of wage theft.

Conducted by the Illinois Economic Policy Institute and the affiliated Midwest Economic Policy Institute, the study found 10 percent of Wisconsin construction workers, 20 percent of those in Illinois and 23 percent in Minnesota are victims of payroll fraud.

Not only is the problem morally wrong, robbing workers of what they are promised, but federal, state and local governments lose out on enormous amounts of tax revenue, Franco said. Minnesota loses about $136 million in state revenues due to construction payroll tax fraud, he added.

In 2019, the state passed one of the nation’s strongest wage theft protection acts. The law makes wage theft a felony and provides financial resources to combat the crime. However, it only scratches the surface when it comes to prevention, Franco said. More needs to be done on the prevention side, he added. LIUNA has launched a campaign, Not on Our Watch, which encourages workers to report incidents of wage theft to the proper authorities.

Listen to the entire episode to learn more about the issue of wage theft in Minnesota:


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