More than 1,000 people are owed more than $5 million in unclaimed wages and New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer announced a “Know Your Rights” campaign on Wednesday to connect the workers with the wages.
The Comptroller’s Office is holding more than $5 million in unclaimed prevailing wages for more than 1,000 workers who were underpaid by contractors on city-funded projects, the office said.
“Here at the Comptroller’s office, we believe that an honest day’s work deserves an honest day’s pay,” Stringer said. “Since taking office, we’ve de-barred 35 companies that have cheated workers out of their rightfully-earned wages and recovered millions for hard-working men and women. Today we’re joining with a coalition of partners to help ensure everyone knows their rights about prevailing wages and to send a message that we do not tolerate exploitation of workers, no matter their immigration status.”
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Under New York State law, the Comptroller’s Office sets and enforces wages on New York City public works projects, such as renovating public schools, or on building service contracts with city agencies, like security guard and custodial work.
"Wage theft is a persistent and pervasive problem in New York, especially for immigrant workers,” said Lead Workplace Justice Organizer of Make the Road New York Meg Fosque. “Working people around New York are sick and tired of employers stealing their wages, and they are ready to fight for what’s rightfully theirs.”
Nearly $18 million in prevailing wage violations have been assessed by the Comptroller’s Bureau of Labor Law since 2014. More than $8 million already has been paid “to workers who were cheated out of their wages,” according to the Comptroller’s Office.
“When greedy corporations cut corners they often see immigrant labor as the easiest target to take from,” added Christopher Kui, executive director of Asian Americans For Equality, “and when these workers don’t know their rights, or where to turn when they’ve been wronged, they can unjustly fall through the cracks.”
Since August 2015, 84 individuals have been reunited with nearly $600,000 in money they were owed, including seven people who eventually receivednearly $330,000.
The debarred companies are prohibited from bidding on city and state public works projects for five years.
According to the Comptroller’s Office, the following companies have been debarred since Stringer took office:
• Decoma Building Corp.
• TM Mechanical corp.
• DeWaters Plumbing & Heating
• Vick Construction
• Colonial Roofing Company
• EF Pro Contracting Inc.
• V & R Contracting
• Aqua Jet Painting Corp.
• Cassidy Excavating Inc.
• Optimum Construction Inc.
• Metro Duct Systems Inc.
• Mackey Reed Electric
• Sphinx Contracting Corp.
• H.N.H. Contractors Corp.
• Craft Fence Inc.
• M. S. Quality LLC
• New American Restoration Inc.
• Brooklyn Welding Corp.
• New York Insulation Inc.
• Traffic Moving Systems Inc.
• North American Iron Works
• Arkay Construction Inc.
• Apco Contracting Corp.
• Astoria General Contracting Corp.
• Reliance General Construction Inc.
• Mountain's Air Inc.
• Scott Electrical Service LLC
• Astro Communications of NY
• Sublink, LTD
• Mack Glassnauth Iron Works
• MZM Corp.
• Dosanjh Construction Corp.
• New York Rigging Corp.
• CFM Services Corp.
• Beacon Restoration, Inc.
Stringer’s office said anyone who thinks he or she is owed wages can call (212) 669-4443, email email@example.com or check the unclaimed wages website.