Presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump, has been getting into a lot of legal troubles associated with the new restaurant he plans to open in the Old Post Office in Washington D.C. The latest scandal is an alleged breach of Labor Department regulations, accusing Trump and his primary contractor of underpaying workers. (Let’s not forget when Trump complained that wages are already “too high” in America.)
Trump has leased the building from the federal government, which means that he is required by the Labor Department’s Davis-Bacon Act to pay all contractors and subcontractors the prevailing market wage (usually determined by unions, but applicable to non-unionized workers, too). In other words, Trump can’t get away with exploiting his workers by paying them minimum wage.
Several subcontractors have come forward claiming that the primary contracting agency, Lendlease, is not paying them adequate wages in accordance with Davis-Bacon. Lendlease denies the claims, but workers have said that their jobs have been given misleading titles that imply they have fewer responsibilities and less skill-intensive labor than their jobs actually demand. This would be like calling a hazardous waste cleaner a “janitor.”
The Labor Department is investigating the misleading job classifications, but Trump may not be held accountable.
Should a subcontractor be found in violation of wage laws by the Labor Department or some other investigating body, the Trump Organization won’t likely be on the hook legally. The project’s general contractor, Lendlease, may share some liability, and a GSA spokesperson said that if the subcontractors’ alleged violations proved serious enough, the Trump organization might choose to terminate its contract with Lendlease.
Lendlease has a bad track record with regards to underpaying workers, and so does Donald Trump. We are fed up with big corporations like Lendlease and Wall Street capitalists like Trump taking advantage of hardworking Americans to put a few more dollars in their overflowing bank accounts.
Marisa completed her undergraduate degree in 2013 at the University of Wisconsin with a double major in creative writing and media studies. She is an advocate of progressive policies and focuses her interests on gender equality and preventing sexual and domestic violence.