As this New York Post article will show, construction, demolition, and scaffold workers continue to be forced to work in unsafe conditions for illegally low wages. New York’s men and women in construction risk their lives and health on behalf of the city’s economy, and deserve a lot better. There are too many scaffold accidents, construction hole collapses–too many broken and fractured backs and knees and shoulders. Too many deaths. It’s time for New York to come to the aid of our construction, demolition, asbestos removal, and scaffold workers!
By Priscilla DeGregory and Emily Saul
The city’s five district attorneys have agreed to crack down on wage theft by construction contractors - after an investigation revealed that more than $1.2 million in wages had been illegally withheld from workers.
The state Department of Labor has uncovered some 400 cases since it began looking into wage theft earlier this year. Nearly $700,000 has been returned so far, authorities said, and the investigation is ongoing.
“Every week, New Yorkers lose $20 million in unpaid wages. And every day, construction workers who risk their lives doing dangerous jobs have to wonder whether they’ll actually be paid for their work,” Manhattan DA Cy Vance said Monday.
Wage theft is one of the most pervasive problems in New York City and State, and in the construction industry in particular, workers are all too often preyed upon by their employers, who are able to steal millions of dollars in unpaid wages.
District attorneys from Westchester and Nassau counties have also vowed to aggressively mete out cases, the top prosecutors announced.
Common ways that crooked contractors withhold funds are by not paying overtime, withholding final paychecks, not paying for “training” time, and charging employees for required equipment or uniforms, officials said.
Workers are also often forced to work in unsafe or unsanitary conditions.