Grow the Middle Class — Stop Wage Theft


Visit to learn about our work to end construction industry wage theft in California and join the push today!

It’s time to eliminate the Underground Economy in Construction.

The Underground Economy is a multi-billion dollar marketplace for employers who break the law. By not complying with basic payroll and reporting requirements, employers who operate in the underground economy steal billions of dollars in wages earned by their workers and cheat California taxpayers out of hundreds of millions of dollars every year!

How big is the problem and who is being impacted?

  • 144,000 California construction jobs in 2011 were not reported by their employers or were misclassified — a 400% increase since 1972.
  • Construction workers in the underground economy earn half of what property reported workers earn, and are three times more likely to live in poverty.
  • In 2011, criminal construction employers stole $1.2 billion in wages from workers, and another $775 million from taxpayers.*

wage theft in constructionWage Theft

Help us end the exploitation of California Construction Workers and hold law-breaking employers accountable. 

Learn more about wage theft:
Hollow Victories: The Crisis in Collecting Unpaid Wages for California’s Workers
Level the Playing Field: Put California’s Underground Economy Out of Business
Sinking Underground: The Growing Informal Economy in California Construction


Sign Up to Help End Wage Theft


*Source: “Sinking Underground: The Growing Informal Economy in California Construction,” Economic Roundtable, Yvonne Yen Liu, Daniel Flaming, Patrick Burns

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