Contractor Agrees To Pay Back Wages For Day Laborers

Attorney General Spitzer today announced a settlement on behalf of Hispanic immigrant day laborers who were paid far less than the wages and benefits that state law requires for a public work project on Long Island.

Under the terms of the settlement, the contractor -- ADC Contracting and Construction, Inc., of Queens -- will pay more than $75,000 to 18 day laborers who were helping to build an animal shelter for the Town of Southampton.

"Day laborers are entitled to the full protections of New York's labor laws," Spitzer said. "When contractors pay less than the minimum wage on public work projects, they violate the rights of workers and subject law-abiding contractors to unfair competition."

The case was brought by the Attorney General's Day Laborer Task Force, which investigated complaints that day laborers had not been paid for their last two weeks on the job. Soon after the investigation began, the workers were paid the promised wages, but the Task Force then determined that the contractor had failed to pay the legally-required wage.

Under the settlement, a mason will receive up to $6,795.82, and a laborer will receive up to $4,446.86, depending on the number of hours that he worked on the project.

The contractors' compliance with the prevailing wage law requirements regarding other workers on the project remains under continuing investigation by the State Labor Department.

The Attorney General thanked a Long Island workers rights organization, United Day Laborers, for working with his office on the case.

The Attorney General's Day Laborer Task Force investigates complaints of mistreatment of workers. The Task Force also gives presentations to day laborers and their employers throughout Suffolk and Nassau counties on compliance with state labor law.

The case was handled by Assistant Attorney General C. Michael Higgins of the Attorney General's Day Laborer Task Force, and Labor Bureau Chief M. Patricia Smith.

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