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Construction & Design

New plan to fine prevailing wage scofflaws

The prevailing wage law for construction on public works requires contractors to post notices at City job sites.

New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer kicked off Labor Rights Week with a new program that will fine city contractors who fail to provide written notice to their employees of their right to receive prevailing wages and benefits.

Stringer signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Mexican Consulate in New York as part of an ongoing collaboration to promote labor rights and advocate for workers.

“We firmly believe that an honest day’s work deserves an honest day pay. This is why we are starting a new initiative to fine contractors that do not properly notify workers of their rights to prevailing wages and benefits,” said Stringer.

The prevailing wage law for construction on public works requires contractors to post notices at City job sites informing employees of the requirement to pay prevailing wages and benefits, along with the rates for each trade.

The law also requires information on the trade and prevailing rates in each employee’s pay stub, and written notice of the Comptroller’s contact information for wage complaints.

Under the new initiative, signage identifies the worksite, the employer, and must include the wage schedule for workers to receive their prevailing wages.

The fines for failure to provide this information can be as high as $500 per violation for repeat offenders.

When the Comptroller’s Bureau of Labor Law finalizes new regulations implementing the fines, its investigators will start monitoring city job sites for compliance and issuing summonses for violations.

The Mexican Consulate in New York hosts Labor Rights Week every year just before Labor Day.

This year’s Labor Rights Week, with the theme “The Value of Your Work” will take place from August 26 through September 2, 2019.

The MOU signed on Monday continues a collaboration between the Comptroller’s office and the Mexican Consulate to promote labor rights and advocate for workers. The Mexican Consulate has similar MOUs with the New York State and United States Departments of Labor.

For the Comptroller’s office, the object of the MOU is to ensure workers are aware of their rights to prevailing wages on City-funded public work sites.

Prevailing wage laws require employers to pay workers the wage and benefit rate set annually by the New York City Comptroller when those employees work on City-funded public work projects or contracts for building service employees with City agencies or certain residential buildings receiving tax exemptions.

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