A.G. Schneiderman Releases 2017 Labor Day Report Highlighting Past Year's Major Accomplishments In Advancing The Rights Of Workers
A.G. Recovered More Than $2.7 Million In Back Wages For More Than 1,500 Workers Over The Past Year, In Both Civil And Criminal Enforcement Actions;
Since 2011, A.G. Has Recovered Almost $30 Million In Stolen Wages For More Than 21,000 Workers
Significant Progress In Enforcing Prevailing Wage Protections And Ending Abuse Of Non-Compete Agreements
In honor of Labor Day, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman issued his fourth annual Labor Day report, Working for Justice, covering the robust enforcement actions of his Labor Bureau and the key policies he has promoted on behalf of working men and women.
“As Attorney General, I am committed to fighting on behalf of New York’s workers to make sure they get a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “We will continue to work every day to make progress for New York’s working families.”
Some of the AG’s biggest achievements on behalf of workers this year include:
- Recovering more than $2.7 million for more than 1,500 workers in low-wage jobs, including fast-food employees, home health aides, taxi drivers, restaurant employees, and construction workers, among others. Since taking office, Attorney General Schneiderman has recovered nearly $30 million for more than 21,000 workers victimized by wage theft.
- In March, the AG settled with the three Domino’s franchisees accused of underpaying workers at stores in New York City, Westchester, Long Island, Fulton County, and Montgomery County, who agreed to pay $480,000 in restitution to workers who were denied minimum wage, overtime, and other legally owed compensation. In total, Attorney General Schneiderman has now secured settlements with 71 Domino’s franchise locations in New York State, owned by fifteen individual franchisees. These locations comprise more than half of the franchise stores and over a third of the total number of Domino’s stores in New York. All told, the A.G.’s office has secured nearly $2 million in total restitution for Domino’s workers statewide through these settlements.
- In February, investigators from the Attorney General’s office arrested Konstantinos Aronis, the owner of K.M.S. Restaurant Corp. on charges of failing to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in wages to 34 workers. He was also charged with filing false documents in order to both hide the wage violations and avoid paying of unemployment insurance. A month later, Aronis pled guilty. He was sentenced to 60 days in jail and five years of probation, and agreed to pay more than $500,000 in restitution to workers and the state.
- In May, investigators from the Attorney General’s office arrested Vickram Mangru on charges that he cheated ten workers out of almost $700,000 by failing to pay prevailing wages to workers on several publicly funded New York City construction projects. The Attorney General charged Mangru with Failure to Pay the Prevailing Rate of Wage or Supplements and with five counts of Falsifying Business Records in the First degree—in an attempt to cover up the underpayments. If convicted of the top count against him, Mangru faces five to 15 years in prison, debarment for an additional five years, and restitution payment for his workers.
- Attorney General Schneiderman proposed legislation to curb widespread abuse of non-compete agreements by employers. The bill includes a ban on non-competes for all low-wage workers; a requirement that if an employee covered by a non-compete is fired without cause, the non-compete is void; and a first-of-its-kind provision granting employees the right to seek damages when subjected to unlawful non-competes. If enacted, the legislation would provide the strongest protections in the nation to prevent employers from locking workers in to low-paying jobs.
Full details of the Office of the Attorney General’s work on behalf of workers can be found in the report.
“Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has demonstrated his commitment to hard-working men and women. He continues to send the message that depriving workers of fair wages and equal employment opportunities will not be tolerated in New York State,” said Richard Lipsitz, President of the Western New York Area Labor Federation.
“As the Long Island Federation of Labor fights for decent wages, benefits and working conditions for all workers, we are proud to call Attorney General Eric Schneiderman a valued ally. His office has done outstanding work fighting exploitation of New York’s workforce by identifying and rooting out wage theft, misclassification and illegal and unfair practices that undermine legitimate employer,” said John R. Durso, President of the Long Island Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO.
"Organized labor is proud to live in New York State where it is understood that a just wage for a day’s work is the best way to grow the economy," said Ann Marie Taliercio, President, Central NY Area Labor Federation, AFL-CIO.