State senator hopes to change construction industry with worker classification bill

A Utah Senate Committee on Wednesday approved a bill that its sponsor says will change the construction industry in the state. The bill’s sponsor, Democratic Senator Karen Mayne, says the bill is simple in nature but complicated in practice.Mayne, widow of the late Senator Ed Mayne who was also president of the AFL-CIO, says that Utah’s construction industry is being turned on its head by a few disreputable firms that signed up their workers, from sheet rockers to framers as “owners” in the firm.”It started out that those employees that really didn’t have a history of employment, maybe those who didn’t have a mastery of the language, those who didn’t have a lot of history in working, they were enticed to this kind of situation,” Mayne explains. “But as the economy has gotten worse, those employees have been kind of enticed to go into those type of companies. And they have mistreated and misinterpreted what they really are.”On KVNU’s For the People program, Mayne said any firm that violates the new law twice in a year would have its business or contractors license revoked.

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