Governor Kathy Hochul signed an important modification to the New York state prevailing wage laws on Labor Day, extending the law’s coverage to thousands of building services workers. Prevailing wage laws require workers to be paid a special, higher minimum wage when working on jobs funded by the government or receiving government assistance. Thousands of jobs are covered by these laws; however, they are very often violated, to the detriment of millions of American workers.

Exactly which jobs are covered by the prevailing wage laws, however, can be a matter of dispute. While it is sometimes easy to identify public works projects, the governmental connection can sometimes be challenging to see. It could be tax breaks, financing assistance, property grants, etc. Also, many government agencies lease properties from private landlords, bringing the prevailing wages into play for the building service contracts at those locations. 

The team at Pelton Graham can help you determine if your job is covered by the prevailing wage laws.

The law that Governor Hochul signed on Labor Day requires covered condominium and cooperative buildings (those with over 30 units and that benefit from New York state tax abatements for residential property) to pay the prevailing wage to building service employees at their buildings. The law is expected to bring over 2,000 additional building service workers under the coverage of the prevailing wage laws. 

Assembly Bill A7434A requires that the prevailing wage be paid to building service employees who work at most co-ops and condos that receive residential tax abatements under section 467a of the tax law. Covered building service employees are those who work over eight hours per week building services positions, including, but not limited to:

  • Watchmen
  • Guards
  • Doorpersons 
  • Building Cleaners 
  • Porters
  • Handymen 
  • Janitors
  • Gardeners 
  • Groundskeepers 
  • Elevator Operators and Starters 
  • Window Cleaners

Each of these prevailing wage rates is different, and they vary from county to county. The professionals at Pelton Graham have deep experience in sorting out where workers fit under the complex scheme.

Wage theft in the United States takes many forms and is found in literally every sector of the economy, from small family-owned stores to major corporations and even law firms

The term “wage theft” covers many different illegal activities, such as:

  • Failure to pay minimum wage
  • Failure to pay overtime
  • Classifying employees as “managers” to avoid paying overtime
  • Short payment on the last check
  • Failure to pay commissions
  • Check bounced/company went bankrupt
  • Early arrival required but clock in later/required to stay after clock out
  • Deduction for mealtime and breaks not taken
  • Paying “comp time” instead of overtime
  • No pay for attending mandatory events like training, meetings, etc.

Pelton Graham has represented thousands of people like you – people seeking legal pay, freedom from harassment and discrimination, protection for blowing the whistle, payment for accident injuries, and other legal relief. 

Contact us today for a no-cost, no-obligation assessment of your situation. We’re available for telephone, video, and in-person consultations. 

If a caller can benefit from contacting the Department of Labor directly, we can also help them do that.


Image by Gerhard Bögner from Pixabay