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Protecting Hawaii’s workers, businesses and taxpayers from unscrupulous contractors.

Non-compliance with Hawaii’s labor, employment and construction industry laws is a big problem that gets very little attention. It’s not just a union labor issue – it affects businesses in all industries, every taxpayer and the entire state economy. But unless you interact directly with a non-compliant contractor, you might not know the extent of the problem.

PRP is committing our time and resources to raise awareness about the widespread, costly impacts of non-compliant contractors in our industry and beyond. With more awareness, we can partner with government officials, developers, businesses, workers and the public to enforce compliance and punish unscrupulous operators who take advantage of Hawaii and its people.

THE IMPACTS OF NON-COMPLIANCE

HARD-WORKING CRAFTSMEN ARE CHEATED

Making a decent living is hard enough in Hawaii. When they’re working for contractors who don’t play by the rules, earning a living wage is impossible.

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Workers who are NOT treated fairly are often:

  • Misclassified as independent contractors.
    • They have to pay their own taxes as if they were sub-contractors, they don’t receive medical benefits in the event of an injury, and won’t be covered by unemployment insurance if they lose their job.
  • Paid less than their skill is worth.
  • Forced to work in unsafe working conditions.
  • Provided little to no benefits.

CORNER-CUTTING CONTRACTORS ARE REWARDED

Dishonest contractors have a financial incentive to do the wrong thing. They can avoid their obligations to the law and to their workers to gain an unfair advantage over an honest contractor.

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Law-breaking contractors flourish when they illegally lower their costs and increase their profit margins by:

  • Hiring unlicensed subcontractors.
  • Paying workers well below a living wage.
  • Hiring an unauthorized immigrant workforce to realize huge labor savings.
  • Misclassifying their workers as independent contractors.
    • They can avoid paying taxes, state and federal unemployment contributions, overtime and workers’ compensation premiums.
  • Ignoring health and safety laws that protect workers, the general public, and our environment.
  • Giving honest contractors a bad name, hurting our industry’s reputation and weakening the incentive for developers to pay for quality, upstanding services.

GOVERNMENT RESOURCES ARE STRAINED

Hawaii’s safety net for addressing social issues is already stretched thin. We can’t allow problems created by cheating contractors to push us to the breaking point.

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  • Cash payments and deals conducted in the underground economy reduce tax revenue.
  • When workers are cheated out of a living wage and adequate medical and benefits coverage, they cause a strain on the state budget and stretch the social safety net that cannot adequately provide resources and services for people who desperately need them.
  • Cheating contractors unfairly compete for publicly-funded construction projects and often deliver substandard results.

OUR COMMUNITIES ARE BURDENED

We must be vigilant to protect Hawaii’s people and environment from harm.

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  • Our communities are inflicted with a larger financial burden by cheating contractors because abused workers still use government resources and services without adequately paying into the system.
  • Businesses, organizations and consumers suffer when unscrupulous contractors build unsafe construction projects, provide shoddy work and cause damage to the environment.
  • Honest contractors are unable to fairly compete for work and provide steady employment.

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We level the playing field by bringing attention to violations of Hawaii laws.
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