SJ Insulation debarred from future government contracts following joint enforcement effort with New York Attorney General

WHD News Release: 05/25/2016
Release Number: 16-0804-NEW

NEW YORK – The U.S. Department of Labor has recovered $189,000 in unpaid wages and overtime for 28 carpenters and laborers who worked on the federally funded West 131st St. Cluster Project in Harlem between April 2009 and April 2010. This was the result of a joint enforcement effort with the office of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in which the two agencies shared information and worked collaboratively on behalf of workers in New York. The attorney general’s investigation continues.

“Contractors on federally funded construction projects commit to paying their workers the required wages and fringe benefits when they bid these contracts. When, as in this case, they cheat their workers, they are also cheating the taxpayers who ultimately fund these jobs,” said Wage and Hour Division Regional Administrator Mark Watson, Jr. “As the resolution of this case demonstrates, we will not tolerate such illegal behavior.”

“We thank Attorney General Schneiderman and his staff for working jointly with us during the prosecution of this case. We have the mutual goals of ensuring that employees in our jurisdictions are paid and treated properly and employers who underpay their workers do not secure an unfair advantage over law-abiding employers,” said Jeffrey S. Rogoff, the department’s regional solicitor in New York.

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WHD News Release: 05/19/2016
Release Number: 16-0876-CHI

Type of Action: Fair Labor Standards Act consent judgment

Defendant(s): Expertize Masonry Inc., Pawel Walaszek

Investigation Findings: An investigation conducted by the department’s Wage and Hour Division found that Elmwood Park, Illinois-based Expertize Masonry Inc., and Walaszek violated the Fair Labor Standards Act’s minimum wage, overtime and recordkeeping provisions when they misclassified employees working as laborers, masonry workers, crew leaders and foreman on masonry jobs in the Chicago area as independent contractors.

Investigators found the misclassification resulted in workers receiving less than the legally required federal minimum wage, and led to the employer’s failure to pay the workers overtime when they worked more than 40 hours in a workweek. Additionally, the employer failed to maintain accurate time records as required by the FLSA.

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Working to Stop Wage Theft

By Michael Hill, Correspondent

Felix Lema said a construction job boss stole his wages.

Make the Road New Jersey recently helped him recover some of his pay.

“I had been owed wages for a long time by my employer. I asked him everyday please pay me, please pay me. One day he said you need to go home now you need to stop asking me and he gave me a ride home. Instead of taking me home he drove me to the Elizabeth Immigration Detention Center where the threat was deportation,” said Sara Cullinane, state director of Make the Road New Jersey who was translating Lemas’ words.

The Senate Labor Committee just approved Senate bill 1396. It would allow wage theft victims to have their claims not only heard by the state Labor Department but in municipal and superior courts, allow disorderly persons’ charges against violators and increase the statute of limitations to recover unpaid wages from two to six years.

New Jersey Working Families – the same organization behind raising the minimum wage – is leading the charge on wage theft protection.

“We have to make sure that every worker actually receives compensation,” said New Jersey Working Families Executive Director Analilia Mejia.

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Coalition forms to combat wage theft

By Barb Kucera, Workday Minnesota
June 5, 2016

MINNEAPOLIS – Several Minnesota labor and community organizations are forming a coalition to combat the growing problem of wage theft that costs workers millions of dollars every year.

The coalition will hold its first meeting Tuesday, June 7, from 3 to 4 p.m. at the offices of CTUL, Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en Lucha/Center of Workers United in Struggle, 2511 E. Franklin St., Minneapolis. Interested organizations are encouraged to send a representative.

Groups in the coalition include CTUL , a Minneapolis-based worker center; North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters; Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation; SEIU Healthcare Minnesota; SEIU State Council and the University of Minnesota Labor Education Service, which publishes Workday Minnesota.

Formation of the coalition was prompted by Workday’s recent series exposing the many forms of wage theft and discussing possible solutions.

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18th Annual NAFC Conference – Vendor and Sponsorship Opportunities Available

July 1, 2016

Support the National Alliance for Fair Contracting (NAFC) by becoming a sponsor for next year’s 18th Annual NAFC Conference or request a vendor space in our exhibit space.

Becoming a sponsor is easy. We offer sponsorships at various levels, allowing you to choose your level of support for NAFC and its efforts while promoting your organization.

Exhibit space for vendors can be a key asset at a time when decision-makers are eager to learn about products and services.

Please contact NAFC Administrator Geoffrey Griffith if you are interested in further information.

NAFC Main Office: 866-523-6232

*Limited spaces are available. Inquire within for pricing. Sponsors and vendors will be approved at the discretion of the NAFC Board of Directors.

(Visit NAFC’s Conference Page)

(Visit NAFC’s Website)