The Connecticut Department of Labor has issued stop work orders against eight companies building a Trinity College dormitory on Crescent Street after those companies could not provide records proving they were paying into the worker’s compensation system.
Five of the firms are based in Massachusetts, two in Maine and one in New Hampshire. The department’s Division of Wage and Workplace Standards said the companies also didn’t have paperwork that showed they’re registered to do business in Connecticut.
The inspection was done Wednesday, and the stop orders were publicized Thursday.
Because the companies could not show they were paying into worker’s comp, officials suspect workers are wrongly being classified as independent contractors. If the department ultimately makes that determination, the companies will owe $300 for each day of work on the job.
Hiring someone as an independent contractor saves a company on Social Security contributions, unemployment insurance and workman’s comp.
“Unfortunately, when an employer fails to properly recognize workers as employees of their company, often they are trying to avoid providing certain protections, such as workers’ compensation,” said Commissioner Sharon Palmer. “When an employer fails to pay for the proper coverage for injuries suffered on the job and a worker gets hurt, we all lose, since the state’s taxpayers ultimately foot the bill.”