Jose Martinez worked for a construction contractor in New York City for six months in 2019 when he and his co-workers suddenly stopped getting paid.
Martinez said the contractor, Star Builders, initially blamed the owners of the building for not dispersing money for the project.
Martinez said he and his colleagues were eventually paid late, but the delays kept happening. The contractor came up with more excuses for the lack of payment. Eventually Martinez and several of his co-workers left after not getting paid for four weeks of work.
“I have not seen one cent from that money that is owed yet,” added Martinez, who filed a wage theft claim with the New York state labor department in 2019 with assistance from the non-profit Make the Road New York.
“It affected me a lot because at the time, I had to start finding other work, I had to pay bills and pay rent and I didn’t have money, so I had to get loans that I eventually had to pay back once I got another job.”