Contractor to pay half a million dollars in back wages to Hurricane Sandy recovery workers

Hurricane Sandy recovery
A contractor hired to do cleanup at three city hospitals after Hurricane Sandy will pay more than $500,000 in back wages after a settlement with the New York Attorney General.
Credit: Thinkstock

A general contractor must shell out more than half a million dollars in back wages to workers who did recovery and cleanup at four city hospitals after Hurricane Sandy.

Signal Restoration Services agreed to pay $512,026 in back wages to hundreds of workers based on violations from the company’s subcontractors, according to their settlement with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office announced Thursday.

“Employees who worked long hours to rebuild New York after Hurricane Sandy deserve fair wages and the fullest protection of the labor law,” Schneiderman said in a statement.

After Sandy caused significant damage to Bellevue Hospital Center, Coney Island Hospital and Coler-Goldwater Memorial Hospital, the city hired Signal to perform cleanup work.

Two subcontractors hired to assist in the cleanup in November, who in turn hired their own subcontractors, paid their workers $10 to $15 an hour, without overtime despite long shifts, court papers say.

On such projects, workers should have been paid at least $16.99 an hour and $25 to $49 for overtime hours, according to federal and state prevailing wage laws.

“Disaster recovery contractors, who play a critical role for our state, should review their legal obligations before the next emergency occurs to ensure that they are not only disaster-ready but also legally compliant,” Schneiderman said.

An attorney for Signal did not immediately return requests for comment.

Follow Anna Sanders on Twitter: @AnnaESanders


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