Category Archives: Wage Theft

Few Labor Violators Fined, Des Moines Register Reports

Today’s Des Moines Register reports that very few employers who are found guilty of violating the special Federal Minimum Wage laws, applicable to disabled workers, are actually fined as a result of their violations.

The report disclosed that, “[t]he U.S. government fined only three of the 797 employers that violated federal labor laws while paying subminimum wages to disabled workers over a five-year period.

The newly disclosed statistics come from the U.S. Department of Labor and are in response to questions posed nine months ago by U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Ia.

Harkin has been studying the enforcement of a 71-year-old federal law that enables companies to pay disabled workers less than the minimum wage if they first obtain federal approval.

Harkin chaired a Senate committee hearing that examined why Henry’s Turkey Service was allowed to pay its mentally retarded workers 41 cents an hour to work in a turkey processing plant in West Liberty.

Critics say the new statistics confirm what they have long alleged: Companies typically have nothing to lose by violating wage-and-hour laws intended to protect disabled workers.

Harkin said Monday that there is ‘no question’ the law currently fails to provide the disabled with ‘fair employment opportunities that are sufficiently policed to prevent exploitation.’

He said he is preparing ‘substantial legislative changes’ that he expects to make public in the next few months.”

To read the entire article click here.

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As Wage Theft Rises, States And Cities Crack Down, AP Reports

The AP reports that, “[a]cross the nation, the long-simmering problem of employers who don’t pay their workers appears to be getting worse, especially for immigrant laborers.

In the absence of aggressive federal action, some states and local governments have begun to tackle the issue on their own. They say employers who don’t pay overtime or minimum wage are unlikely to pay into state workers’ compensation or unemployment insurance funds — bilking taxpayers even as they’re cheating workers.

Workers rights centers say wage theft has become the No. 1 complaint they’ve heard in recent months.”

To read the entire story go to the AP’s website.

To speak with Wage and Hour Attorney Andrew Frisch call 1-888-OVERTIME or click here today.

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6 Construction Companies Accused Of Using Race-based Pay Scale: Whites At Top, Latinos Rock Bottom, Daily News Reports

The Daily News is reporting that, “[s]ix construction companies are accused in a new state lawsuit of paying their employees according to their race – with whites at the top and Latinos at the bottom.

The suit filed by [New York] state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo on Thursday says the companies cheated lower-paid minority workers out of $4 million in wages and overtime.

All six firms are controlled by Michael Mahoney, a contractor exposed by the Daily News last year after workers said his companies provided them with black market federal safety certificates.

Mahoney’s companies paid white workers an average hourly rate of $25, while paying African-Americans $18 and Latinos and Brazilians only $15 an hour for the same work, the suit charges.

Since 2002, the companies short-changed dozens of employes at at least 10 construction sites, Cuomo charged.

Some workers were cheated of as much as $600 a month, according to Cuomo.”

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Low-Wage Workers Often Cheated, Study Says

The New York Times reports that, “[l]ow-wage workers are routinely denied proper overtime pay and are often paid less than the minimum wage, according to a new study based on a survey of workers in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.

The study, the most comprehensive examination of wage-law violations in a decade, also found that 68 percent of the workers interviewed had experienced at least one pay-related violation in the previous work week.”

To read the entire New York Times article based on the National Employment Law Project’s (NELP) study click here.

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NYC Contractor Charged With Wage Theft And Falsifying Business Records

The New York Times is reporting that a NYC contractor, who has done millions of dollars worth of work for various New York City public organizations and authorities over the past 20 years, was recently indicted and charged for allegedly widespread wage-theft on its jobs.

“The indictment… accuses M. A. Angeliades of failing to pay prevailing wages and benefits to employees who were working on rehabilitating 11 subway stations from January 2005 through December 2007, officials said.

Although the charges were limited to the company’s work on the 11 stations, covered by four contracts with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the Manhattan district attorney, Robert M. Morgenthau, who announced the indictments, suggested widespread crime. “I think it’s clear they stole a lot more,” Mr. Morgenthau said at a news conference to announce the charges….

the thrust of the charges is that Mr. Angeliades and the others went to great lengths to avoid paying union wages and benefits for overtime and weekend work to the company’s employees, instead paying them $20 an hour, and keeping the additional $40 to $55 an hour that the company was required to pay into union benefit funds, prosecutors said.

By failing to pay prevailing wages and benefits, as the law requires on public contracts, companies reap significant savings that allow them to underbid their competition and make substantially larger profits.

Over the past decade, the company has done $432 million worth of work for the M.T.A., $236 million for the School Construction Authority and tens of millions of dollars’ worth of work for the city and other public agencies.

After the company came under scrutiny, the city and several other agencies warned their contracting officers away from M. A. Angeliades, but it is still doing millions of dollars’ worth of work for the transportation authority, the School Construction Authority and the city’s Health and Hospitals Corporation.”

To read the entire article go to the New York Times Website.


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