NYC: Cheated Workers Recover $350,000 In Wages -- Comptroller Stringer Says

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Comptroller Scott Stringer
 
An initiative, announced in August, to find over 1,000 workers who have failed to claim more than $3.7 million in prevailing wage awards has connected 53 workers with $351,791 in unclaimed wages with interest New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer has announced.
 
“This will be a holiday season to remember for the dozens of hard working New Yorkers who are finally receiving the wages they are owed,” Stringer said.  “But what we’ve achieved so far is just the beginning. My office will continue to work with community groups, our partners in government and the media to help get the word out about this unclaimed money.”
 
Prevailing wage laws require City contractors to pay their employees the wage and benefit rate set annually by the New York City Comptroller on City public works projects, such as renovating public schools, or cleaning City office buildings. When companies do not pay, the Comptroller enforces the law to ensure workers receive what they are owed. Since taking office in January 2014, Comptroller Stringer has assessed over $13 million dollars owed to workers on City projects and has suspended 30 contractors from doing business with the City and State due to prevailing wage violations, a record high.
 
Since August, 53 workers have been or will be paid a total of $351,791 in underpayments and interest.  These workers currently reside in places such as: Brooklyn, Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, Nassau County, Suffolk County, Westchester County, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Mexico, Portugal and Poland.
 
“I welcome the Comptroller’s determination to ensure that all workers, regardless of their migratory status– particularly those of Mexican origin – are compensated for their hard work. The Consulate of Mexico will continue to strengthen its alliance with the City authorities in order to fight all practices of labor discrimination, and to encourage the workers to come forward to denounce them and claim their rightful lost wages” said Ambassador Sandra Fuentes-Berain, Consul General of Mexico in New York.
 
“Workers across the City continue to be cheated out of their hard-earned wages. We applaud Comptroller Stringer for taking each and every step to identify the workers who are owed thousands of dollars in compensation, said Rocio Valerio, Labor Director at New York Communities for Change. “We will continue to work hand in hand with the Comptroller to combat wage theft across the city.”
 
"In Scott Stringer we have a Comptroller who is truly a champion for working New Yorkers. We commend his commitment to identifying and compensating workers who are still owed thousands of dollars of unpaid prevailing wages. Wage theft is still a serious issue in New York City, and we look forward to continuing to work with the Comptroller as we advocate on behalf of working-class families and immigrant communities." Meg Fosque, Director of Low-Wage Organizing at Make the Road Action Fund.
 
"We applaud Comptroller Scott Stringer's office for taking initiative to make sure that New Yorkers who have been unfairly cheated out of wages get the compensations that they deserve," said Steven Choi, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition. "Rampant wage theft remains a reality for New York's most vulnerable communities, many of whom are immigrants and we must send a message to employers and companies that this will not be tolerated."
 
“Thousands of hard-working individuals, many of whom are immigrants, have been cheated out of their rightfully-earned wages. If contactors break the law, we force them to pay their workers the wages to which they are entitled – and this is true regardless of the workers’ immigration status,” Comptroller Stringer said.
 
What you can do:
 
The Comptroller’s office continues to search for workers who have failed to claim their prevailing wage awards. All inquiries are confidential.
 
Visit the Comptroller’ website: comptroller.nyc.gov
 
Email the Bureau of Labor Law: laborlaw@comptroller.nyc.gov
 
Call the Comptroller’s Bureau of Labor Law: 212-669-4443

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