Wednesday, July 7, 2010

New law expands licensing violations to all contractors who hire illegal workers

Governor Lingle Wednesday signed into law HB2897 which expands licensing violations to all contractors who hire illegal workers. The measure, now Act 185, subjects a contractor to the revocation, suspension, or nonrenewal of its license for knowingly or intentionally employing a person on any project or operation who is not eligible to work in the United States under federal law.

A previous law, Act 145, Session Laws of Hawaii of 2009, subjected only contractors working on public work construction projects affiliated with a government agency to licensing penalties for hiring employees ineligible to work in the United States.

“The new law provides a fair and level playing field for contractors hiring legally-employable workers,” said Vice Speaker Michael Magaoay, a co-introducer of the bill. “When dishonest contractors exploit illegal labor for their personal gain, they are hurting our local construction workers.” Magaoay represents House District 46 - Kaena Point, Schofield, Mokuleia, Waialua, Haleiwa, Waimea, Pupukea, Sunset, Kahuku, Kunia Camp, Poamoho, Wheeler, and Laie.

“I’m pleased the governor decided to sign this important bill,” said Rep. Henry Aquino, a member of the House Labor and Public Employment Committee and co-introducer of the bill. “It makes unscrupulous contractors accountable for their actions and ensures our local workers have job opportunities, especially during a weak economy.” Aquino represents House District 35 - Pearl City, and Waipahu.

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