Millions of Dollars Owed to New York City Contractors
New York City officials are trying to locate 1,056 workers who are owed back wages from settlements with private contractors. These workers not paid all wages due, and are owed a total of $3.7 million, according to the city comptroller’s office.
Where Did the Money Come From?
The money in New York City came from settlements from contractors that worked on city contracts in public works projects and building service works for New York City government agencies. The city requires all contractors pay workers at “prevailing wage,” which is set annually by the comptroller’s office.
These companies paid their workers less than prevailing wage, even though the city paid the project based on prevailing wage calculations. This difference was kept by the contractors, when it was really owed to the workers. Now the contractors have paid it back as part of the settlement and the city is trying to locate the people who worked on the projects. The comptroller has a form for people who believe they are entitled to a portion of this unpaid prevailing wage money.
Unpaid Wages in Florida
This issue is not unique to New York City. There have been cases all over the country where contractors bid on projects based on local prevailing wage rates and then pay out at lesser rates. This is a form of wage theft and it is illegal.
But it’s not the only form of wage theft we see. Employers sometimes misclassify employees as exempt from overtime when they should be eligible for it. Employers also misclassify employees as independent contractors who are in fact employees instead, and thus, eligible for overtime and benefits. Sometimes the employer’s actions are committed out of ignorance or a lack of understanding of the law; sometimes these decisions are simply driven by cost-cutting measures at the expense of hard-working employees.
The law is very specific about how workers are classified. It is not up to the employer to decide whether you are an employee or not or to withhold your pay; your employer must operate within the boundaries set by law. Regardless of the employer’s intent, if you believe you have been misclassified or your employer has withheld wages from you, you need someone who understands employment law and can help you explore your options.
Not all wage theft is as subtle as misclassifying employees. Some employers hire on workers for a project or job and simply never pay them. They don’t return calls to the worker, and it’s not until a third-party gets involved that the employer begins to think seriously about the claims.
Have you been chasing payment for a job you worked on through a company as either a temporary employee or independent contractor? Are you wondering if you’re a misclassified employee in your employment status? Does your employer refuse to pay the overtime you earned or have you been requested to work “off the clock” or under the table?
All of these situations are examples of potential wage theft. Contact Wenzel Fenton Cabassa, P.A, today to find out more about employment law and whether you may be eligible to receive back wages.
Please Note: At the time this article was written, the information contained within it was current based on the prevailing law at the time. Laws and precedents are subject to change, so this information may not be up to date. Always speak with a law firm regarding any legal situation to get the most current information available.