On May 16, 2018, Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance lodged wage theft and insurance fraud charges against the Queens construction firm, Parkside Construction, and a payroll processing company, Affinity Human Resources. Together, these two entities stole over $1.7 million from 520 workers in wages and benefits and evaded more than $7.8 million in insurance premiums while building projects throughout the City.
One project – The Steinway Tower at 111 West 57th Street – is set to open next year and is expected to be luxury housing for some of the world’s wealthiest people. It is disgraceful that a contractor would systematically shorten the reported hours worked by employees and fail to pay them their fair wages. Parkside Construction invested in state-of-the-art “computerized face-recognition machines” at worksites to record workers’ hours and then later changed these records to reflect fewer hours. This was a highly thought out and sophisticated scheme that would have gone unnoticed if it weren’t for the due diligence of the District Council.
The New York City District Council of Carpenters believe that a fair day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay. We spoke to the workers on site, did our own research, and personally went to the Manhattan District Attorney’s office with our findings. They took this information and launched an investigation.
We stand with the workers that came forward and we support them in receiving the wages they deserve. A sincere thank you to Manhattan DA, Cy Vance, for pursuing these cases. For too long the scale tipped in favor of dishonest contractors who cut corners on safety and exploit workers. We hope that we can continue to improve our industry for both workers and signatory contractors.
If you or anyone you know might not be receiving their rightful wages, please call the Manhattan District Attorney’s office at: 1-888-469-7365.
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By James C. McKinley Jr. | May 16, 2018
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