GEORGETOWN, De.- A bill proposal in Delaware could leave many in the construction industry without a job.

Senate Bill 95 focuses on providing benefits to construction workers by defining the term “independent contractors”. However, for those without access to a Social Security card it could mean losing their opportunity to work.

“It’ll have a ripple effect in all of Delaware’s economy,” says Bryant Garcia who works at La Esperanza Community Center.

Right now, workers who don’t have access to a social security card pay their taxes using I-TIN numbers as independent contractors. Under the proposed SB-95 this won’t longer be possible leaving thousands without a chance to work.

“If there are projects that need to be completed, there’s a need for a workforce, and if there are people who aren’t able to get the workers, obviously this is gonna be a huge issue for Sussex County,” says Garcia. “These aren’t workers who are not paying taxes, they pay their taxes using the 1099 form. That’s revenue that’s going to the state of Delaware.”

In a statement to WBOC Senator John Walsh, sponsor of the law, explained that their goal was never to hurt the Hispanic Community.

““A group of workers raised some concerns about Senate Bill 95 as it came to the floor late last week. After speaking with my colleagues and Secretary of Labor Cerron Cade, I made the decision to table the bill so that we could more thoroughly investigate those concerns, meet with workers, and make sure that we are putting forward the best bill possible.
As a Senator, I have built my reputation on drafting legislation that protects and empowers workers. To that end, I am sitting down with stakeholders today to discuss SB 95. I am proud to be the prime sponsor of this bill. It is designed to protect workers and more meaningfully regulate the ways in which contractors treat their employees in the State of Delaware. I think it is a good bill; I think it is a necessary bill. I look forward to a productive discussion and hope to return to session on June 4th with a bill that has everyone’s support.”

The Hispanic Commission, Senator Walsh and other industry leaders met on Thursday to discuss the issue and find alternatives to protect all workers in the construction industry.

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