Attorney general and comptroller secure compensation for underpaid NYC building workers

April 2, 2024 Robert Abruzzese, Courthouse Editor
Attorney General Letitia James and City Comptroller Brad Lander announce a landmark settlement securing nearly $230,000 in restitution for underpaid security guards at a Manhattan condominium. Brooklyn Eagle Photo courtesy of NYC Comptroller’s Office
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Attorney General Letitia James and City Comptroller Brad Lander announced a settlement on Monday totaling nearly $230,000 with Allied Universal Security Services and the board of managers of a Manhattan condominium. 

This settlement comes as a resolution to violations of New York’s prevailing wage laws, which resulted in security guards being underpaid for their services at 540 West 28th Street Condominium in Chelsea from 2016 to 2019. The affected workers deprived of fair compensation will now receive restitution amounting to almost $30,000 each, in some cases.

“Every New Yorker deserves to be compensated fairly and fully for their hard work,” said James. “For years, Allied Universal swindled their workers out of their hard-earned wages while the owners of the building where they worked benefited from a lucrative tax break. Now, these workers will finally be paid what they are owed.”

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Letitia James
Photo: Bebeto Matthews/AP

Comptroller Lander echoed this sentiment and explained the significance of enforcing prevailing wage laws to protect workers from exploitation. 

“We take our responsibility to enforce prevailing wage laws seriously, to protect workers from companies that try to cheat them out of the wages they have earned,” said Lander. “Today’s settlement proves that companies cannot escape accountability for exploiting their workers.

The investigation revealed that Allied Universal failed to pay the security guards the prevailing wages as required by a Section 421-a tax break agreement, which the condominium had benefited from since 2011.

As part of the settlement, Allied Universal will pay the full amount owed to the employees, along with interest, and conduct an annual audit to ensure compliance with prevailing wage laws in all its contracts within New York City. 

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