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Should legal contractors turn in the underground

Posted by Mark Paskell on Sun, Jul 17, 2011 @ 06:48 PM

If you were to ask me two or three years ago about contractors turning in those who do not play by the rules I would say most would not. That was then.

It appears that the sentiment is changing rapidly. Many contractors tell me things are different now. Less work, smaller jobs, tight consumers, low ball competition and we still have to pay our bills with less. 

Check out this thread from a contractor in the NARI Linkedin group on why reporting illegal contracting activity is a good thing.

Illegal operators are indeed a huge problem, but we are a part of that problem. In our industrey there is a huge reluctance to turn them in. We are out there every day we see them working every day but how many complaints have you made this week. In our industry there is a relutance to "snitch" on somone even somone who is stealing work from us. Folks, snitching is a good thing, a very good thing, not just for us but for society too. The head of OSHA in Northern California told me there has been a huge uptick in the number of construction related injuries being treated at local ER's because all their employers don't have Wk/Comp. This cost is then born by all of us. How about the unemployed that don't get unemployment cause they were paid under the table and must go on welfare which society pays for. Or no permit fees paid so you wait an extra couple of days for an inspection because all the stafff has been laid off. Not to mention the shoddy often unsafe construction that is being built in our communities.

Your single complaint may not bring any specific results but it does become a statistic and like it or not government does allocate resources to the areas they perceive as in the most need. Collectively our many complaints will in fact increase the enforcement we all need to survive. Most states now have special "underground economy" task forces set up to deal with this flood of illegal work, find their contact info and blow the whistle on every scofflaw you see. Same with your local building department. No agency of government can possibly put enough enforcers in the field to catch these operators but we are in a unique position to help. We have the experience to know what an illegal project looks like and we are out there everyday. If every legal contractor were to bust someone every week of the year this problem would soon go away. If you wait for "them" to do it you will go broke before that happens!
Posted by Michael Hamman from Linked in NARI Group.

Where are you on this topic?

Does it make sense to drop the dime?

 Should we continue to look the other way? 

mark the coach

"one voice for the residential construction industry"




Tags: illegal contractors