By Bendix Anderson
September 8, 2010
Capital Cleaning Contractors Inc. must pay nearly $1 million in lost wages, interest and penalties to 33 underpaid workers, thanks to recent action from the New York City Comptroller’s Office.
“These innocent employees came to work every day and performed their duties only to be cheated by their employer,” said New York City Comptroller John Liu. The money represents the largest compliance award for building services ever negotiated by the New York City Comptroller’s Office.
The 33 workers cleaned Fire Department facilities for Velox Cleaning, a subcontractor for Capital Cleaning. Velox failed to pay the workers the prevailing wages and benefits required by New York State and New York City laws for most workers at public work projects and public building services.
The relevant prevailing wage was $18.78 an hour with $6.43 in benefits as of February 2006, according to the Comptroller’s office. Velox paid its workers less than half that amount, $8 an hour, just slightly above the minimum wage. In addition to the judgment against Capital Cleaning, Velox will be “disbarred” from doing business with the city for five years for falsifying payroll records.
“Comptroller Liu has rightly sent a strong message to Capital Cleaning and other contractors that prevailing wage violations will not be tolerated,” said Hector Figueroa, secretary-treasurer of 32BJ Service Employees International Union. “Low wage workers who keep our city clean must be protected from irresponsible contractors.”
Any worker who feels he or she has been shortchanged for work performed at a worksite on City-owned property is encouraged to call BLL at 212-669-4443. All calls are confidential.