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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 113507
Experience:  20+ Years of Employment Law Experience
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I work State of Mass doing trade work. When they contract

Customer Question

I work for the State of Mass doing trade work. When they contract out work they state that the contractor pays his workers the prevailing wage and have OSHA compliant safety. This is not true for its own workers who haven't had any safety training in 10 years and haven't had a raise in 7 years even though we make far less than the prevailing wage
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 10 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Unfortunately, the law in MA treats employees different from those contracting for the state independently. Independent contractors come under the prevailing wage law, while state employees do not have protection under that law (that is something that is up to the state legislators and nothing you can force upon the employer). Furthermore, the union cannot really force the state to pay much higher wages, all they can do is negotiate during the contract negotiation period for wages. The state also is paying their employee benefits, such as insurance and retirement, but independent contractor workers are not getting that paid they get payment to make up for that as part of prevailing wages and that is something else you need to consider. So, the state can insist on that type of payment, even though it is hard on the independent contractor to pay their employee that prevailing wage because the independent contractor employee gets no pension and insurance paid (and even vacation and sick time) by their employer as the state pays its employees.
If you have an issue regarding safety, you can report the state to OSHA and they can investigate the safety issues.