Long Island City condo owners settle for over $100k after failing to pay prevailing wages to service workers

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The owners of a Long Island City condominium building reached a $119,000 settlement with their service workers earlier this month after failing to pay them prevailing wages, which they are required to do as part of an agreement to get a lucrative 421-a tax break.

New York City Comptroller Brad Lander and his office handled the case that requires 11-51 47th Real LLC condominium, the Board of Managers of the Jackson condominium and Choice NY Property Management LLC to settle with the workers. The $119,000 includes the unpaid benefits and interest.

“Companies cannot expect to reap tax breaks like 421-a and not pay their employees the required wages and benefits,” Lander said. “This disregard for the law will not be tolerated, and this settlement serves as a warning to all companies that they must follow the law when it comes to fair compensation.”

In this case, the workers alleged that Choice Management did not pay them the legally required supplemental benefits. As a result, six workers collectively missed out on a total of $87,676 in supplemental benefits from October 2017 to December 2019.

The workers filed a complaint with the Comptroller’s office when they failed to receive their supplemental benefits for this prevailing wage project. Any worker on a prevailing wage project who believes their employer has violated the law when it comes to paying wages can file a complaint with the Comptroller’s office by calling 212-669-4443 or emailing them at laborlaw@comptroller.nyc.gov.

“This settlement is a reminder that buildings receiving tax exemptions from the state must pay their building services employees prevailing wages and benefits,” said Claudia Henriquez, Director of Workers’ Rights at the Comptroller’s Bureau of Labor Law. “Our investigation found Choice Management avoided paying their workers’ legally mandated benefits, and this settlement ensures the workers receive the compensation they were due.”