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Brooklyn contractor must pay $600,000 after cheating workers

A city contractor must pay $600,000 after cheating workers of a publicly-funded project in Brooklyn.

Credit: Thinkstock Credit: Thinkstock

Update (8/12/2013):A lawyer for Masonry Services, Inc.,Jonathan W. Greenbaum, said of the settlement: "these were not MSI employees or payrolls at issue, it was a subcontractor of MSI. MSI resolved the matter without an admission of liability and because the general contractor is in chapter 11."

Metro's original story below:

A city contractor must pay $600,000 after cheating workers of a publicly funded project in Brooklyn, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said Thursday.

Masonry Services, Inc., agreed to pay thousands in back wages and costs for underpaying masonry workers on a project in Brownsville, which was overseen by the city's Department of Housing Preservation and Development.

The St. Mark's Project received public funding, Schneiderman's office said, so Masonry Services owners James and Jamie Herrera had to pay workers the prevailing wage above the state and federal minimum of $7.25 an hour.

"Contractors who work on publicly funded affordable housing projects must comply with all applicable laws, plain and simple," Schneiderman said in a statement.

Between June 2009 and July 2010, the contractor's masonry workers were paid $8 to $23 an hour, below the prevailing wage, without overtime.

In addition to the settlement with underpaid workers, the contractors must pay for independent monitoring of the company's labor practices for three years.

A woman who answered the phone at Masonry Services, Inc., declined to comment on the settlement Thursday.

In March, Schneiderman previously announced a $980,000 settlement by another contraction company and one of its subcontractors who underpaid workers on two other city projects in Brooklyn.

Follow Anna Sanders on Twitter: @AnnaESanders

Correction: The above article, originally published Thursday, Aug. 8, incorrectly reported the companywon't be allowed to work on state public projects for five years. The company would only be barred from working on state projects for five years in the event of any future works violations because it would be placed on the state's debarment list. We apologize for the error.

 
 
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