Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.
Date: Nov. 25, 2014
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald or Andre J. Bowser
Phone: 617-565-2075 or 617-565-2074
U.S. Department of Labor
Wage and Hour Division
Release Number: 14-2057-NEW
US Labor Department recovers nearly $3M in back wages for workers on federally funded construction projects in New York City
Larino Masonry Inc. and owners debarred from bidding on federal contracts
NEW YORK -- The U.S. Department of Labor has secured $2,904,000 in back wages for laborers and mechanics who worked on federally funded construction projects in four New York City boroughs.
A federal administrative law judge approved a settlement requiring Larino Masonry Inc., based in Newark, New Jersey, to pay $1,945,000 in back wages to workers at projects in Manhattan and the Bronx for violating the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts and the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act. In a separate, but related case, Larino also agreed to an order to pay $959,000 to workers at projects in Brooklyn and Queens.
Larino admitted that it failed to pay its workers the legally required prevailing wage, fringe benefits and overtime, and submitted falsified certified payrolls to a contracting agency. In addition to paying back wages, Larino and its company president Juan Luis Larino and vice president Maria Larino have been barred from bidding on federal contracts for the next three years.
“Taxpayers should expect that federal contractors understand their obligations and comply with the law,” said Maria Rosado, director of the Wage and Hour Division’s New York City District Office, which investigated the federally funded projects. “When Larino Masonry or any other employer violates labor laws, they cheat their employees and gain an unfair advantage over employers who obey the law. We will hold them accountable.”
“The department’s investigations and litigation demonstrate a commitment to ensuring workers are paid the wages to which they are legally entitled and a level playing field for employers doing business with the government,” said Jeffrey Rogoff, the department’s regional solicitor of labor in New York.
An investigation by the department’s Wage and Hour Division found that Larino Masonry failed to pay the required prevailing wage and fringe benefits to 67 laborers and mechanics on the Hobbs Ciena Project in Manhattan. The Hobbs Ciena Project involved the construction of a nine-story building at 305-307 E. 102nd St. and the rehabilitation of five buildings at 306-324 E. 100th St. in Manhattan. Larino was a first-tier subcontractor to Lettire Construction Corp.
An additional investigation found the same violations affecting 62 laborers and mechanics working on the Claremont Project at 282 E. 171st St. and 1421 College Ave. in the Bronx. Larino was a second-tier subcontractor at the site where, company officials admitted, some skilled tradesmen, such as power equipment operators, were paid as general laborers.
Further investigations found Larino committed violations of the DBRA and CWHSSA on the federally funded 97 Crooke Ave. Reverend Dan Ramm Residence in Brooklyn, where 50 workers were paid improperly, and at the Council Towers VI multifamily housing project in Queens, which found 49 workers owed back wages.
The DBRA requires all contractors and subcontractors performing work on federal and certain federally funded projects to pay their laborers and mechanics the proper prevailing wage rates and fringe benefits, as determined by the secretary of labor.
The CWHSSA requires contractors and subcontractors on federal and federally assisted construction contracts over $100,000 to pay laborers and mechanics employed in the performance of the contracts one and one-half times their basic rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek.
Molly K. Biklen, James R. Wong and Lindsey A. Rothfeder from the department’s Office of the Regional Solicitor in New York litigated the cases.
For additional information about these and other laws enforced by the Wage and Hour Division, call its toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information is also available at http://www.dol.gov/whd.
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