The New York Regional Solicitor's Office is responsible for most civil trial litigation and legal support for the U.S. Department of Labor for matters arising in the following states:
- New York
- New Jersey
- Puerto Rico
- U.S. Virgin Islands
The New York Regional Solicitor's Office employs approximately 36 attorneys and 8 legal support staff.
WHAT WE DO:
The New York Regional Solicitor's Office:
- recommends and prosecutes litigation at the administrative and U.S. District Court trial levels;
- prepares legal interpretations and opinions; and
- assists the United States Attorney in the prosecution of criminal cases
While the attorneys employed by the New York Regional Solicitor's Office may be called upon to handle cases arising out of any of the Department of Labor's program areas, the majority of work performed in this region arises out of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Wage and Hour Division, the Employee Benefits Security Administration, and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. Some industries we deal with frequently include construction, restaurants/hospitality, and manufacturing.
- Redressing Pay Discrimination in Financial Industry, Recovering $9.8 Million in Back Pay and Prospective Relief
NYSOL secured a landmark settlement resolving a compensation discrimination lawsuit, alleging that JPMorgan Chase & Co. systematically paid a group of female employees less than comparable males employed in the same positions, in violation of Executive Order 11246, which prohibits discrimination by government contractors, as regulated by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP). JPMorgan must pay at least $9.8 million, including $800,000 in back wages to affected employees and at least $9 million in annual pay equity adjustments for all employees at every level throughout the country.
- Holding Owner of Scofflaw Construction Company Personally Liable for $2 Million OSHA Penalties
NYSOL succeeded in securing personal liability for $2 million in Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) citations against repeated OSHA scofflaw Juan Quevedo-Garcia, owner of a New Jersey framing company. We prevailed on a summary judgment motion to pierce the corporate veil, affirming 8 willful, 10 repeat, and 12 serious violations, and ensuring that this owner will no longer be able to manipulate the corporate form to evade responsibility for serious safety hazards.
- Ensuring Equity for Mental Health with $15.6 Million in Payments, Practice Improvements
NYSOL brought and successfully resolved the government’s first lawsuit for violations of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA), which prohibits health plans covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) from imposing treatment limitations on mental health and substance use benefits that are more restrictive than limitations they impose on medical and surgical benefits. After we filed a complaint in district court against two UnitedHealth Group Inc. affiliates, we required defendants to pay $13.6 million to affected members, plus more than $2 million in penalties, as well as to reform their practices.
- Enforcing Wage Compliance in Horse Racing Industry with Payments Totaling $2.6 Million
NYSOL recovered over $2.6 million in back wages, liquidated damages, and civil money penalties for overtime and other violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by three prominent horse racing trainers. We required the employers to shift their practices to ensure compliance with multiple wage laws, by using an electronic timekeeping system, training supervisory employees and designating a compliance officer, and conducting orientation sessions to inform employees of their rights.
- Requiring Repeat Safety Violator to Pay $1 Million in Penalties and Improve Its Safety Practices
NYSOL obtained a major OSHA settlement against a large aluminum foundry with a long history of safety violations, injuries, and fatalities, obtaining a $1 million penalty. Pursuant to the settlement, we required Aluminum Shapes LLC to improve its safety practices and accept ten willful, 19 repeat and 55 serious violations related to many hazardous conditions, some of which resulted in a crushing death and severe chemical burns suffered by employees.
- Winning Trial Victory Protecting Agricultural Workers
NYSOL won a wage hour trial against a New Jersey farm involving violations of the H-2A provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which sets minimum wage and living standards for employers of nonimmigrant agricultural workers. Sun Valley Orchards unlawfully subjected workers to unsanitary, dangerous, and exploitative living conditions, and then terminated many workers mid-season without cause and coerced workers to sign false statements. The administrative law judge awarded $344,945 in back wages and $211,800 in penalties for these violations.
- Protecting Whistleblower who Reported Maritime Safety Concerns
NYSOL recovered $375,000 in restitution for a whistleblower who had been fired for cooperating with federal investigators and reporting safety concerns related to a maritime explosion. OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Program found that a New York-based petroleum carrier illegally retaliated against the worker. Per the settlement, the company was also required to post violation notices and train its managers and employees about their rights.
- Partnering with OSHA on Developing COVID-Related Violations Totaling Over $3 Million
NYSOL helped OSHA to develop COVID-related citations for more than 300 OSHA inspections, arising largely from healthcare worker fatalities and complaints during the initial pandemic surge in the New York area. To date, we have assisted OSHA in issuing nearly 700 COVID-related citations to employers in NY and NJ, with penalties totaling over $3 million, and we have litigated many of these cases when employers contested these violations.
- Requiring Government Contractor to Pay Truck Drivers Wages Owed
In the middle of trial, NYSOL reached a settlement for $550,000 in back wages under the McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act, which requires government contractors to pay prevailing wages to service employees. U.S. Postal Service mail haul contractor Petrillo Trucking Inc. and its owner failed to pay their truck drivers for all hours worked; under the settlement they were debarred from receiving federal contracts for three years.
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AGENCIES SUPPORTED:
- Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)
- Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA)
- Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP)
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
- Office of Labor-Management and Standards (OLMS)
- Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
STUDENT VOLUNTEER SERVICE PROGRAM:
The New York Regional Solicitor's Office may select student volunteers through the Student Volunteer Service Program. For more information, send an email to NYSOLIntern@dol.gov.
|201 Varick Street, Room 983
New York, NY 10014
(646) 264-3660 (FAX)
|REGIONAL SOLICITOR||Jeffrey S. Rogoff|
|DEPUTY REGIONAL SOLICITOR||Kathryn L. Stewart|
|Counsel for ERISA||Michael R. Hartman|
|Counsel for Civil Rights||Sudwiti Chanda|
|Counsel for OSHA||Daniel Hennefeld|
|Counsel for Wage and Hour||James Wong|
|Management Analyst||Hannah Walton|