Hurricane Harvey – Unpaid Wages

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, many contractors are hiring people to do labor and construction work in Houston, Beaumont, and other areas that were hit hard by the storm. Many of these contractors are legitimate, but some are not.

Ross • Scalise Employment Lawyers cannot assist with claims for unpaid wages against “storm chaser” contractors who are from out-of-state, who don’t have established businesses, or who are just scammers.
If you were hired by a contractor to do work on damage caused by Hurricane Harvey, and the contractor has not paid you, we recommend that you contact the following government agencies for assistance:

After Hurricane Ike hit Houston in 2008, the Houston Interfaith Worker Justice Center published a report about abuse of workers who were hired to repair storm damage. HIJWJC reported that in the disaster recovery and reconstruction industry, abusive employers see natural disasters as an opportunity to make money by taking advantage – not only of desperate property owners affected by the storm, but of workers. After Ike, many companies recruited workers all over the region with promises of well paid jobs, lodging, transportation and food, only to fail to live up to these promises.
How can you try to protect yourself as a worker? If you are considering accepting an offer to work for a company doing hurricane repair work, do the following:

Once you start working, keep an accurate record every day of the locations and hours you work. If you aren’t paid for the first pay period you work, take that as a warning that you may not get paid if you continue to work.

Natural disasters can provide opportunity for people who need work. They can also provide opportunity for con artists to take advantage of hard-working people. Take the steps you can to try to protect yourself from being swindled.