By Jim DeBrosse,

Cincinnati could become the first city in Ohio with a local ordinance against wage theft and payroll fraud if City Council approves a measure advanced Monday by its budget and finance committee.

The committee voted 6-0 with two abstentions and one member absent to approve a bill that would withdraw city tax breaks, contracts, grants or loans from any company found cheating its employees and would bar, at least temporarily, serious offenders from doing further business with the city.

Councilman David Mann unveiled draft legislation to protect workers against wage theft and payroll fraud at a Thriving Cincinnati event on Jan. 15 hosted by the Woman’s City Club.

The legislation would apply to all workers on a construction site where the developer receives more than $25,000 in incentives under an agreement with the City of Cincinnati. The developer would risk losing the incentives and could be barred from future city contracts if any contractor or subcontractor on the construction site is found to have committed wage theft or payroll fraud.

As we all know, sometimes the best place to hide something is out in the open. And that applies to nail salons in New York City where mani-pedi’s were ridiculously cheap, but no one asked why…except Sarah Maslin Nir.

Nir found extensive wage theft hiding right under the nose of consumers, worker advocates, federal and state enforcement agencies and a state attorney general with a reputation for sniffing out and rigorously prosecuting violators.

How subcontracting makes recovering unpaid wages difficult 

Story appeared originally in Cincinnati CityBeat on July 15, 2015.

By Jim DeBrosse and Mike Brown

Juan Alvarez was one of 10 undocumented workers from Guatemala recruited by Jorge Padrilla, an undocumented Mexican, to do the framing and drywall work for an addition at the Ohio Theta House fraternity on Joselin Street in Clifton Heights last July.