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The New York Regional Solicitor's Office

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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.

Accomplishments:

  • We reached a corporate-wide workplace violence settlement with one of the largest private providers of correctional healthcare in the United States. Corizon Health, Inc. was cited by OSHA for failing to protect its employees at Rikers Island from workplace violence. The comprehensive agreement includes a timeline of specific actions, reports, and monitoring designed to ensure that Corizon changes its practices, both at the corporate level and at hundreds of correctional facilities nationwide. This unprecedented corporate-wide settlement aims to shift how workplace violence is addressed across the correctional healthcare industry.
  • We obtained a temporary restraining order forbidding a Poughkeepsie-based designer and distributer of baby apparel from retaliating against or intimidating employees during a Wage and Hour investigation. After Wage and Hour began investigating the company to determine whether its employees were being paid properly, the company instructed some employees to hide from investigators and told others to provide false information. The company also threatened to take action against employees if they cooperated with Wage and Hour's investigation. The Court's order forbade further acts of retaliation and intimidation, allowed the Department of Labor to read a statement to employees about their right to speak with investigators without fear of retaliation, and required the company to notify the department before terminating employees. The company subsequently paid more than $135,000 in back wages and civil money penalties to resolve the department's investigation into their pay practices. Read More.
  • We obtained a ground-breaking settlement in a Davis Bacon and Related Acts case that held a general contractor responsible not only for its own violations of federal labor law, but also for those committed by its subcontractors. The consent findings and order required the contractor to take affirmative steps to ensure its own and its subcontractors' future compliance, to guarantee payment for some of its subcontractors' violations as determined through administrative and court proceedings, and to guarantee payment for any future violations committed by its subcontractors on federally funded local, state and federal prevailing wage projects. The general contractor also agreed to hire a monitor approved by the Wage and Hour Division for at least three years to conduct regular compliance reviews of the company and its subcontractors on Davis-Bacon and other federally funded projects with the terms of the consent findings and order, as well as applicable federal and state laws. The New York Times covered the settlement.
  • We prevailed at trial in an OSHA case against Tower Maintenance Corporation. At trial, we established that Tower Maintenance Corporation willfully violated the Occupational Safety and Health Act by requiring employees to perform work on electric towers over one hundred feet above the ground without the use of fall protection. OSHA issued the violations after an employee fell from a tower and sustained fatal injuries. This was the second fatal fall accident for the company in the previous two years. The Judge's decision found that Tower Maintenance had heightened awareness of OSHA's fall protection requirements and was "plainly indifferent to the safety of its painters."" The Judge assessed the maximum statutory penalty of $70,000 for the "willful" violation, and also affirmed violations related to inadequate safety training and exposure to electrical hazards for a total penalty of $91,000.
  • We helped OSHA develop a $2.3 million civil penalty case against a general contractor who willfully exposed employees to lead and asbestos, and then we litigated and settled that case, imposing abatement obligations that should span the next decade. Dover Greens (formerly Olivet Management) purchased the Harlem Valley Psychiatric Center, a decommissioned New York State mental hospital campus, to convert it into a college. As general contractor, Dover Greens directed thirteen contractors with more than 200 employees to sweep the peeling lead paint off the surfaces of walls, to remove and stack asbestos floor tile, and to dry-sweep floors that were contaminated with lead and asbestos debris, without telling them the truth about these hazards or following OSHA health requirements. Our settlement affirms twenty willful citations of the lead and asbestos standards and the full assessed penalty. Dover will pay $700,000, plus another $1.6 million if they fail to comply with the settlement's terms, which include retaining competent, properly trained contractors and a safety monitor, and notifying employees in three languages about their workers' compensation rights.

Department of Labor Agencies Supported:


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.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

    • Region II. NEW YORK
      201 Varick Street, Room 983
      New York, NY 10014
      (646) 264-3650
      (646) 264-3660 (FAX)
      • REGIONAL SOLICITOR Jeffrey S. Rogoff
        • DEPUTY REGIONAL SOLICITOR Darren Cohen
          • Counsel for Civil Rights Sudwiti Chanda
          • Counsel for ERISA John Campbell
          • Counsel for OSHA Diane C. Sherman
          • Counsel for Wage and Hour Molly Biklen
          • Management Analyst Gaby Markey