El Paso construction workers reach wage theft settlement
El Paso, TX (KTSM) — Seventeen El Paso construction workers have received more than $21,000 in compensation from Midland SHS Development, LP, and G. Greenstreet, Inc. after they claim they were not paid for construction work they performed at a Midland hotel property during the summer of 2012.
Represented by Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA), the workers filed liens on the Marriott Springhill Suites Midland property after they were not paid for construction work they performed last summer. After months of negotiations, the owner of the property, Midland SHS Development, LP, and the project’s general contractor, G. Greenstreet, Inc., agreed to compensate the workers. In exchange, the workers will not foreclose on the hotel.
“All we wanted was to get paid for the work we performed,” said Rudy Vega, one of the workers involved in the case. “We weren't paid so we did something about it. I am glad I stood up for my rights and I hope others will too.”
One in every thirteen Texas workers is employed in the construction industry, and wage theft remains common, particularly among low-wage workers and day laborers. Under the Texas Property Code, a worker who is not paid for construction, demolition, or landscaping work has the right to file a lien on a property he/she worked on. The worker can sue to foreclose on the property, force its sale, and collect the wages owed from the proceeds.
“Far too often employers get away with not paying workers after a job is done,” said TRLA attorney Michael S. Russell. “There are many powerful tools available to workers to fight back against wage theft. I'm pleased TRLA was able to secure justice for our clients.”