I worked for nearly 20 years in Eastern North Carolina as a one-man shop, painting and hanging wallpaper. Thank you for your excellent series “ Contract to Cheat.”
Contractors are responsible for knowing and following the law. Federal and state agencies are equally responsible for policing and enforcing the laws. Laws that are designed to protect the workers and to provide income for national and state governments that are constitutionally empowered to promote the common good.
In the Sept. 12 news article “ Leaders promise change on tax scam,” Gov. Pat McCroy promised “to penalize companies that knowingly ... treat workers as independent contractors.” I worry that the word “knowingly” will allow wiggle room for the unscrupulous employers to continue to dodge their responsibilities to workers. “Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t know I couldn’t do that.” Ignorance is not a defense.
Let’s get the laws and regulations in place, promulgate them, get the word out and then let the various trade associations teach their members, with the guidance of state and federal agencies, what will and will not be tolerated.
North Carolina’s share of the $476 million in uncollected taxes could have gone a long way toward balancing our budget and giving teachers a real pay raise.