State Investigates Construction Sites for Operating Without Licenses

Contractors could face large fines if they are found to have committed violations.

📅   Mon November 02, 2015 - West Edition
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Hawaii has launched an investigation into a complaint alleging that construction sites in Ala Moana Center's newest wing are operating without the necessary licensing.
Hawaii has launched an investigation into a complaint alleging that construction sites in Ala Moana Center's newest wing are operating without the necessary licensing.

HONOLULU (AP) - The state has launched an investigation into a complaint alleging that construction sites in Ala Moana Center’s newest wing are operating without the necessary licensing.

Investigators from the state tax, labor and business departments visited at least nine constructions sites Monday at boutiques and food establishments in the shopping center’s new wing, which is set to open Nov. 12.

The complaint filed by the Hawaii Construction Alliance, which represents five unions, alleges unlicensed activity, according to Hawaii News Now (http://bit.ly/1S7pfdC).

”Workers are being paid in cash by these contractors and subcontractors which begs the question: are they filing the proper paperwork with the state?’ said Tyler Dos Santos-Tam, executive director of the alliance. ”Are they paying the right wages? Are they covering their employees with workers comp and medical?’

The state is working to determine if contractors and subcontractors have the proper licenses and if they’re paying state and federal taxes. Investigators are also looking into the treatment of workers.

”Are they being fairly treated? Are they being covered? Are they at risk, even though they’re working on these glamorous types of shops,’ said State Labor Director Linda Chu Takayama. ”There might be some workers there being perhaps misclassified as independent contractor when they actually were employees.’

The investigation is expected to last several months. Contractors could face large fines if they are found to have committed violations.