A.G. Schneiderman Creates Hotline To Protect Workers In Sandy Recovery Efforts

Statewide Assistance And Referral Helpline Set Up As AG’s Labor Bureau Investigates Labor Law Violations in the Cleanup

A.G. Schneiderman: Workers Playing Critical Role In Clean Up Are Protected By Labor Laws


NEW YORK ‑ Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the creation of a statewide hotline for workers who have labor problems related to the cleanup, recovery and rebuilding from Hurricane Sandy. This hotline will provide assistance, information and referrals to employees who work on cleanup and rebuilding in areas and buildings damaged by the storm.

"Workers performing cleanup and recovery work play a critical role in rebuilding our state," Attorney General Schneiderman said. "Whether they are working to clean up large office buildings, hospitals, apartments, retail stores or private homes, employees are protected by New York's Labor laws. I encourage Sandy clean-up workers to call our office if they think their rights have been violated. We want to make sure that our State is rebuilt in a way that protects all New Yorkers."

The Attorney General's Office is currently investigating several complaints regarding non-payment of wages, non-payment of overtime, and other labor law violations committed by cleanup contractors.

The hotline telephone number is 1-800-771-7755.

Employers have the following legal obligations:

  • Employers must pay all employees the wages required by law, including minimum wage ($7.25 per hour) and overtime (1 ½ times the employee's regular rate of pay after 40 hours per week). If an employer promises a higher rate of pay, the employer must pay that promised rate.
  • Almost all employees performing cleanup or recovery work on a public building or property, such as a school, hospital, or building owned by a federal, state or local government agency, are entitled to the "prevailing wage," which is typically much higher than the minimum wage.
  • Employers must provide employees with the equipment needed to protect themselves from health risks and dangers on the jobsite.
  • Employers must report all employees for payroll and unemployment tax purposes.
  • Employers must obtain workers' compensation insurance in New York for all employees working in the state.
  • Employers may not retaliate against employees who raise complaints under state or federal law.
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