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Press Releases

U.S. Department of Labor
Wage and Hour Division
Release Number: 09-739-NEW / BOS 2009-216

Date: 

July 20, 2009

Contact: 

John M. Chavez

Phone: 

617-565-2075

U.S. Labor Department recovers nearly $215,000 in back wages for employees of contractor repairing elevators in a housing complex in Brooklyn, N.Y.


New York, NY -- The U.S. Department of Labor has recovered nearly $215,000 in back wages for 25 workers employed as elevator mechanics by Robert Elevator Co. Inc. and Morgan Vertical Consultants Inc.

Robert Elevator was a subcontractor to Lindsay Park Housing Corp., which was performing work under a contract awarded by the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (NYC DHPD) that was subject to the Cranston-Gonzalez National Affordable Housing Act of 1994. This law incorporates the provisions of the Davis-Bacon Act, which requires the payment of prevailing wages and benefits to laborers and mechanics employed on federal and certain federally-funded projects. The Labor Departmentís Wage and Hour Division enforces the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts (DBRA).

The contract involved maintenance and repair of elevators located in seven buildings comprising Lindsay Parkís Mitchell-Lama Housing Complex in Brooklyn and an investigation by the NYC DHPD disclosed violations during the period of March 20, 2002, through August 5, 2003.

ďAn investigation initiated by the NYC DHPD revealed that Robert Elevator did not pay the 25 elevator mechanics the correct prevailing wages and fringe benefits during that period, including underpayments to 17 apprentices that were not registered or enrolled in an approved apprenticeship program,Ē said Phil Jacobson, the Wage and Hour Divisionís district director in New York City. ďWhen the company refused to pay the back wages, the agency referred the matter to the Wage and Hour Division for resolution.Ē

Negotiations to resolve the matter involving the Wage and Hour Division, the Labor Departmentís Regional Solicitorís Office, Lindsay Park Housing Corp. and Robert Elevator resulted in a settlement agreement approved by the departmentís Office of Administrative Law Judges, which provides for the 25 workers to receive a total of $214,983 in back wages. The city of New York is currently withholding $184,983 that will be applied to the settlement. The balance of $30,000 will be paid by the prime contractor, Lindsay Park Housing Corp.

For more information on the DBRA and other federal laws administered by the Wage and Hour Division, call the Department of Laborís toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information is also available at http://www.wagehour.dol.gov.

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U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at (202) 693-7828 or TTY (202) 693-7755. The Labor Department is committed to providing Americaís employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/compliance.