The New York State Department of Labor (NYS DOL) today announced that it has reached a $1,450,096 agreement with Miller Environmental to settle a failure to pay prevailing wages. In January 2020, the company was contracted by PSEG LI to address oil spills and soil contamination, conduct clean-up, and perform other work supporting utility installation. NYSDOL’s Bureau of Public Work received a complaint that employees of the contractor were not receiving the lawfully required prevailing wage.
“In New York State, we believe workers deserve a fair wage for a fair day’s work,” said New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon. “Protecting workers is a top priority to the New York State Department of Labor. We remain vigilant to ensure that employers are properly compensating employees for the work that they do. We will never stop protecting the paychecks of hard-working New Yorkers.”
Prevailing wage is the pay rate set by law for work on public work projects. Per New York State Labor Law, contractors and subcontractors must pay the prevailing rate of wage and supplements to all workers under a public work contract based on the locality where the work is performed. Third parties contracted on behalf and for the benefit of a public entity are also subject to the prevailing wage requirements of NYS Labor Law Article 8. NYSDOL notified PSEG in 2015 that because it operates Long Island Power Authority’s (LIPA) electrical transmission and distribution infrastructure, its contracts--including those for reconstruction, maintenance, and repair of public works--are subject to those requirements.
NYSDOL investigators confirmed that Miller Environmental failed to bid the contract at prevailing rates and that PSEG LI failed to inform Miller Environmental that this contract involved public work. Miller Environmental ultimately reached an agreement with NYSDOL to pay 88 employees the full underpayment amount. Those payments were distributed in January and February of 2022.
NYSDOL continues to work aggressively to ensure businesses across New York State comply with prevailing wage requirements and is in the process of hiring over a dozen new public work wage investigators statewide to advance that mission. Over the past decade, DOL has recovered more than $360 million on behalf of approximately 330,000 workers.
To report prevailing work violations, email: [email protected].