Bucks County contracting firm Worth & Co. says the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) has charged it with wage violations in an attempt to shut the company down because it is a nonunion shop.
Worth’s payroll has been audited 14 times in three years.
Worth won Pennsylvania’s “Best Places to Work Award” five years running, thanks to nominations from its employees. Unions have tried unsuccessfully to organize its 450 workers since the early 1990s.
If the L&I charges stand, Worth will be barred from publicly funded jobs—which constitute 80% of its business—for three years.
The two key L&I officials behind the charges have significant union ties. Unfortunately for Worth, so does Secretary of Labor Steve Schmerin, who will decide the case. Since 2004, Schmerin has received a pension from the Laborers’ International Union of North America. Worth asked Schmerin to recuse himself, but Schmerin declined.