Workers Receive $2.35M in Back Wages
Monday, February 21, 2011
Two dozen workers whose wages were withheld have received a $2.35 million settlement, according to the New York City Comptroller's Office.
Comptroller John Liu said the Department of Environmental Protection contracted Paramount Equipment Rental, Inc., in 2007 to remove debris during repair of water and sewer systems. In turn, Paramount hired operating engineers and provided backhoe loaders to complete the work.
Liu's office determined the company withheld payments for overtime and work done on nights and weekends. Under the settlement, Paramount paid $2.35 million in restitution to the workers and admitted a "willful violation" of the law. Additionally, the company agreed to pay $117,674 to the city’s general fund as a civil penalty. The settlement also warned that any future violations would result in Paramount being barred from bidding on city projects.
"This goes to show that vendors who have the privilege of working on city contracts and do not honor their requirements will be held accountable," Liu said. "We will not tolerate contractors who seek to avoid the responsibility of paying their employees what they are rightfully owed."
The award is the largest on record at the City Comptroller’s Office, which monitors compliance with New York State’s labor laws.